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Gender Equality

Commission on the status of women in Ireland to be launched

It’s understood this is one of the concrete offerings in Fine Gael’s new ‘rolling manifesto’ It will focus on removing gender barriers from all aspects of Irish life.

A COMMISSION ON the Status of Women is to be launched to tackle the issue of gender inequality.

According to Fine Gael’s new ‘rolling manifesto’, it will focus on removing gender barriers from all aspects of Irish life.

The EU figures show that in Ireland, women currently earn around 13.9 per cent less than men – better than the equivalent gap in the UK, where the difference is 19.5 per cent, but still impacting significantly on women’s careers and incomes.

Put another way, that figure equates to women in full-time employment working for free in Ireland for about one month of every year.

Ireland passed equal pay legislation in Ireland in 1974, yet there is still no pay parity between men and women.

The commission will have six-months to carry out its review, and a report will then be submitted to government. A road map to achieving greater gender equality in Ireland will then be set out by government.

The party document also states that it wants to equally split sports funding between men and women.

In addition, Fine Gael says it wants to introduce a new parental family leave, which allows men and women share the time off.

It also aims to support parents who choose to avail of a registered childminder in their home.

Since September, all parents can now avail of new childcare subsidies including an €80 per month allowance for children aged between six months and three years of age.

The Affordable Childcare scheme requires background checks on childminders, which has been criticised for being too costly, costing up to €1,000 for some.

“If the government is going to use taxpayers money for childcare we need to make sure the person is vetted,” said the Taoiseach yesterday.

Fine Gael also commits to banning zero contract hours, removing red tape and reviewing regulation around health and safety that may be hindering businesses. It also aims that all employees and employers will have to pay in to a new pensions scheme.

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