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A victory for lone parents’ - Anderson

15 October, 2007

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has hailed the commitment from a powerful Assembly committee to protect lone parents as a significant victory.

Ms Anderson sits on the committee which scrutinises the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).

She said:

"The committee met this week to discuss plans to bring current legislation into line with European regulations on gender discrimination.

"Part of the discussions related to lone parents of young children and the need to ensure that they faced no disadvantage in terms of employment, for instance, as a result of their position.

"There was a proposal before us to limit the terms to parents of children up to one year old.

"However, we in Sinn Féin feel strongly that any disadvantage felt by lone parents - especially in terms of securing employment - will be felt just as strongly from the birth of the child at least until they go to school.

"Therefore, I argued strongly that the new legislation should extend the definition to include the parents of young children rather than limit any protection to those with a child of up to one-year-old.

"I'm pleased to say that the committee agreed to take my argument on board and I now look forward to seeing this enacted in legislation which will provide much-needed protection for many, many lone parents." ENDS

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