Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Equality Commission must do what it is there for – deliver and safe guard equality.

25 February, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Fein MLA and Human Rights spokesperson Martina Anderson has stated that the Equality Commission must do what it was established to do - deliver and safeguard equality. This follows the Commission presenting its Corporate plan in front of the OFMDFM committee today at the Assembly.

Speaking today Ms Anderson said:

The Equality Commission today presented its corporate plan, which encompassed several key aims for the Commission. However their presentation contained several contradictions.

"On one hand they point to the fact that section 75 is not being fully embraced by all departments or agencies. The role of the Commission is to pursue this and they have a legislative framework to do this in. If this were challenged by the commission we would see undoubtedly see greater advances in representation and equality for all.

"However they then present us with targeted outreach, which mentions each and every community bar the nationalist community. Their rationale for this is that the Unionist community have less faith in the commission and so need greater attention.

"If we are to take these two examples in tandem we can clearly see that the Equality Commission is playing into the age old failed approach that is letting down local communities. The sectarianising of the equality agenda, while ignoring fundamentals such as section 75 will not deliver for anyone in the long run

"The Equality Commission need to realise that their role is to deliver equality regardless of background or perceptions. It is through doing this that they will convince members of all sections of our community that they are impartial, not by seeking to address fears and appease unionist political arguments against the commission." ENDS

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