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Time to reflect on failures in combatting gender-based violence and inequality – Ní Riada

6 January, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Speaking in Kerry this morning Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada said Nollaig na mBan should serve as an opportunity to reflect on the status of women in Irish society, and learn from past failures.

Ní Riada was addressing law students at Kerry College of Further Education.

“Securing full equality for women and girls means closing the gender pay gap, seriously tackling domestic and gender-based violence, and rolling back on austerity measures, which disproportionately affect women.

“The latest figures from the European Commission show that women in Ireland are paid 14% less than men. The pay gap has in fact widened over the last number of years, which must be seen as a failure of government policy. While other EU countries have developed and implemented strategies to tackle this issue, successive Irish government has presided over a worsening situation.

“Similarly, cuts to services and supports for women experiencing domestic and gender-based violence have been cut over the past number of years. Rape crisis centres and women's refuges are struggling to survive due to funding cuts, despite seeing an increase in demand. The recruitment embargo has effectively stalled our social care and family support services.

“Cuts in the health service and welfare system have disproportionately affected women, and the ever-growing housing crisis is hurting families.

“It is clear to me that the slow progress towards equality and fairness made by Irish women is being rolled back under this Government as with the previous one. For all its talk of quality and recovery, it has little interest in improving the lot of women.

“The coming general election will give the Irish people an opportunity to bring about political change, and elect a fresh government, that will prioritise social services, fairness and equality. Sinn Féin is ready to lead such a Government.”

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