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Women with young children are the most discriminated against in the workplace

28 February, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle Assembly election candidate, Waterside councillor Lynn Fleming speaking in advance of a study by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights to examine how our lives are affected by race, gender and age.

Councillor Fleming said:

"Today the Commission for Equality and Human Rights will release it findings on how our lives are affected by race, gender and age

"The people I speak to on daily basis who work on the ground in the communities tell me that there has been countless studies carried out in the past but there has been little help in being proactive in addressing their findings and what little funding has been provided is short term and piecemeal.

"A recurring theme in all these studies is that women with young children are the most discriminated-against at work and mothers with small children are less likely to be employed. Today there are more women in work outside the home than ever before. However women are still over represented amongst those on the minimum wage and in the part-time and services sector.

"Women face a higher risk of being in low paid employment than men and with a high percentage of women employees below the minimum wage in comparison male colleagues. The shortage of quality childcare makes it difficult for women to remain in the workforce or to access full-time employment. Women looking to return to the workforce face additional problems in accessing training and education as their work in the home is not recognised.

"It's shameful the failure of both the British and Irish government to address the ongoing inequalities experienced by women particularly in the rural areas.

"All that needs to change or this document due to be released today will just gather dust on a shelf and we will be back reading similar findings six, twelve months down the line." ENDS

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