Citizen’s Assembly on gender to be established in Ireland
Sinn Fein’s Justice and Equality Spokesperson has welcomed the government’s decision to establish a Citizen’s Assembly to consider the remaining barriers facilitating gender discrimination.
Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, the Cork South-Central TD said: “Sinn Féin has long argued that Article 41.2 of the Constitution should be replaced by a gender-neutral article that recognises the economic and social value of unpaid domestic and care work."
Ó Laoghaire added: “We supported the demand of advocacy organisations that before holding a referendum on Article 41.2 a public consultation needed to first take place. This was also a view held by members of the Oireachtas Justice committee when considering the government’s premature referendum legislation."
The Sinn Féin TD continued: “Whilst the barriers facing women in terms of caring responsibilities, low pay and the economic outcomes from excessive childcare costs are well voiced it is important that women themselves determine the solutions to dismantling them.
It will be vital that the diversity of women’s voices be included in the Assembly process.
Migrant women, women from the LGTBI+ and traveller communities, women with a disability, trade unionists, carers and those who have experienced domestic violence and abuse must shape the Assembly’s recommendations."
Ó Laoghaire said: “There is also much that the government can do in the interim to progress gender equality.
Gender proofing of government budgets needs to be rapidly advanced and positive outcomes delivered."
Replacing the minimum wage, said Ó Laoghaire, with a living wage would be an appropriate response to tackling low pay by a modern wealthy democracy.
"Ministers - he concluded - have yet to deliver on the 2016 programme for government commitment to strengthen the role of the Low Pay Commission in relation to the gender pay gap and in-work poverty.
There is no barrier that cannot be torn down if there is the necessary political will to do so.”