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de Brún calls for gender equality within EU

1 February, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed a report to be put to the European Parliament 'on equality between women and men in the European Union.'

In a recent survey it emerged that the gender pay gap has substantially increased for Irish women. Irish women are paid 17% less for the same work as Irish men. According to a report by the Central Statistics Office, one -parent families are 3.5 times more likely to experience poverty than any other group within society.

Speaking in advance of the debate on the report Ms de Brún said:

"I particularly welcome the report's call to ensure that pension schemes do not reinforce patterns that already place women at a disadvantage. Many older women today faced discriminatory rules when they were younger - rules that forced them to retire when they got married. Now these women find they do not have adequate pension contributions. This problem is also faced by women who came out of work to act as carers.

Cuireann Bairbre de Brún fáilte roimh tuarascáil ar "ceartas idir fhir is mhná san Aontas Eorpach".

Ritheadh suirbhé le deireannas in Éirinn agus fuarthas amach go bhfuil méadú dáiríre tagtha ar an bhearna páighe idir mhná agus fir na hÉireann. Íoctar mná na hÉireann 17% níos lú ná a macasamhla fireannacha in Éirinn agus iad i mbun an ghnó chéanna. Dar le suirbhé a foilsíodh ag an Phríomh Oifig Staidrimh, tá contúirt bochtanais trí huaire go leith níos airde ag clann aon-tuiste ná mar atá ag clainne eile sa tsochaí.

Ag labhairt roimh an díospóireacht sa Bhrúiséal faoin tuarascáil ar "ceartas idir fhir is mhná san Aontas Eorpach", deir Bairbre de Brún MEP:

"Sa lá áta inniú ann tá a lán mná aosta a bhí faoi rialacha leatroim nuair a bhí siad níos óige - chuir na rialacha sin iachall orthu eirí as an obair nuair a phós siad. Anois tá na mná seo fágtha le pinsin ina bhfuil easpa ranníocaíochtaí. Is fadhb í seo freisin do mná a d'éirigh as a jab chun aire a thabhairt dá gclann".

"Cuirim fáilte roimh na fógartha san tuarascáil seo atá faoinár bhráid inniu chun a chinntiú nach gcuireann scéim na bpinsean leis na coinníolacha leatroim atá ann cheana .

"It is also clearly unacceptable to have political institutions where half the population is largely absent from decision making.

"Tackling these problems will require more than words, it will require concrete actions to redress centuries of inequality between men and women.

The European Commission has designated 2007 as the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All. 2007 could mark a sea change for women if governments were to act seriously on a number of measures including:

  • parity of representation for women in elected positions and decision-making bodies
  • adequate childcare in line with commitments made
  • narrowing the pay gap between women and men
  • strong action to stamp out violence against women and trafficking of women
  • adequate pension schemes that do not discriminate against women
  • adequate funding of grassroots organisations representing women " ENDS

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