Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’

International Women’s Day and the Women’s Charter

March 8, 2010 1 comment

Today is International Women’s Day. The UN’s Theme for the Day is ‘Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All‘. A directory of Irish events to mark the day is available here.

On March 5, the President of the European Commission launched a ‘Women’s Charter‘, which aims at building a gender perspective into all Commission policies for the next five years.

The Charter presents a series of commitments based on agreed principles of equality between women and men. It aims to promote:

  • equality in the labour market and equal economic independence for women and men, namely through the Europe 2020 strategy;
  • equal pay for equal work and work of equal value by working with Member States to reduce significantly the gender pay gap over the next five years; (In Ireland, the average pay gap stands at 17.1 %)
  • equality in decision-making through EU incentive measures; (see a picture of Irish performance here)
  • dignity, integrity and an end to gender-based violence through a comprehensive policy framework;
  • gender equality beyond the EU by pursuing the issue in external relations and with international organisations.

The Charter will be followed by a new strategy for gender equality to be adopted by the Commission in mid-2010.

Valuing the ‘Parent’ within the Home: Proposals in the Renewed Programme for Government

October 24, 2009 1 comment

constitutionOn the day of the Green Party Convention to consider the proposed revised programme for government we followed the activities as much as we could in this post. One of the commitments contained within the PfG is that a constitutional referendum would be held to amend Article 41.2 of Bunreacht na hÉireann (the Constitution of Ireland) to refer not to women and mothers within the home (as is currently the case) but to the parent within the home. Article 41.2 currently provides:

1° In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.

2° The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.

This controversial constitutional provision is, perhaps, a product of its time. Adopted following a plebiscite of the people in 1937, the Irish Constitution’s tendency towards Catholic sensibilities has been widely documented notwithstanding the fact that it espouses secular values. Article 41.2 is gender specific and reflects an expectation that women and mothers would be the primary care-givers within the home. Read more…