Fórsa has called on the Government to accept Citizens’ Assembly recommendations on workplace and broader gender equality issues, which were recently published.
The assembly, made up of 99 citizens from across the country, made recommendations on pay and other workplace issues, as well as care and childcare, violence against women, social protection, politics and leadership.
These included a call legislate to reduce the gender pay gap, and to align the minimum wage with the living wage by 2025. It also recommended that the deletion and Article 41.2 of the constitution, commonly known as the ‘women's place in the home’ clause.
And it called for improved pay and access to pensions for paid carers, changes to the carers’ allowance, and respite and pensions for family carers.
Fórsa official Billy Hannigan welcomed the recommendations, and said Ireland was at the beginning of a long road in the campaign to achieve gender equality.
“Fórsa’s own work on workplace and broader gender equality are reflected in many of these recommendations. Achieving them, including the deletion of the ‘women's place in the home’ clause, would be welcome first steps, and the Oireachtas must now respect the devotion and commitment of the assembly by accepting their recommendations and implementing them without delay,” he said.
Billy said recent public health restrictions had resulted in significant increases in domestic, gender-based and sexual violence. “The specific assembly recommendation on the appointment of a survivors’ commissioner, as an independent advocate and voice for victims, is a very welcome addition at this precarious time,” he said.
He added that assembly recommendations on childcare, gender quotas, pay, and social protection had the potential to bring about real and meaningful change.
Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) general secretary Patricia King acknowledged the assembly’s recommendations on improving wages and working conditions and welcomed its adoption of ICTU’s recommendation that workers be given a legal right to collective bargaining.
On leadership and politics, the assembly calls for introduction of maternity leave for all elected representatives, and extension of extend gender quotas for party candidates to local, Seanad and European elections, with increased penalties for parties that don’t meet the quota.
It also called for legislation to require private companies to have a gender balance of at least 40% on their boards, and said funding to public bodies should be contingent on their reaching a 40% gender balance quota by 2025.
The complete list of recommendation by the Citizens Assembly is available to view here.
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