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On average Irish women are paid 17% less for the same work as Irish men - de Brún

19 January, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning delivered a speech in the European Parliament calling for 'practical measures for ensuring increased employment opportunities for women on the basis of equality.'

Ms de Brún was speaking in favour of a report by Edite Estrela MEP 'on the future of the Lisbon Strategy from the point of view of the gender perspective.'

Speaking after the vote Ms de Brún said:

"EU leaders promised to 'make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty' by 2010. Yet, more than half-way through the 10-year period of the 'Lisbon Agenda', this has not happened. In light of this, the Lisbon Agenda's pledge to effectively tackle gender equality must be viewed with a degree of scepticism.

"Molann tuarascáil Edite Estrella roinnt miosúir praicticiúla leis an aidhm comhionnanas a bhaint amach i gcúrsaí fostaíochta ach go háirithe. Léiríonn sí fadhb mhór amháin - is é sin nach bhfuil ceannairí an AE ag díriú isteach ar sin mar ba chóir.

"I want to welcome Ms Estrella's report which puts forward practical measures for ensuring increased employment opportunities for women on the basis of equality. I thank her for her work. We need to be clear that the creation of employment opportunities is not about providing women with low paid jobs or jobs with less favourable working conditions. Such opportunities must have at their core, gender equality on a par with their male counterparts.

"On average there is a pay gap of 15% across the EU. In a recent survey in my country, in Ireland, it emerged that the gender pay gap has substantially increased for women in spite of Ireland's economic growth. Irish women are paid 17% less for the same work as Irish men. Growth and jobs alone will not bring gender equality.

"The present emphasis on achieving growth at the expense of social inclusion, working conditions and environmental protection cannot in any way lead us in the direction of greater gender equality. This issue must be addressed through positive actions and not simply paid lip service.

"Whilst the principle of equality has been established throughout the EU, the practice has not. It is up to all of us to change this situation." ENDS

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