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Key achievements for women’s equality and NWCI in 2017

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017 was full of trials and triumphs for women’s equality. As always, we are grateful to our members and supporters for all their help in advancing the issues important to women in Irish society.

Here are just some examples of achievements for women's equality and NWCI in 2017. 

Working with our members and supporters, we 

  • Ensured the inclusion of key recommendations in the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020 The new strategy was launched this year by the Department of Justice and Equality. It includes six key objectives and strategic actions to take in order to advance women’s equality in a number of different areas, including a commitment to establish a Women’s Health Action Plan.
  • Established Gender Budgeting as a key consideration for the Government and launched a major piece of research on the topic: NWCI published a major piece of research on gender budgeting in Ireland in response to the government’s commitment to gender proof the budget. This work and NWCI’s expertise was publicly recognised by An Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance and the Joint Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee. Our research was also referenced in materials produced by the new Parliamentary Budget Office.
  • Led an alliance of women’s human rights organisation in Geneva and ensured strong international recommendations in the UN CEDAW report : After extensive advocacy work, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (UN CEDAW) considered Ireland’s sixth and seventh periodic report, and made strong recommendations to Ireland on a range of key issues for women’s equality, including abortion.
  • Launched a major European project on Ending Sexual Harassment and Violence in Third Level Education (ESHTE) with partners in Cyprus, Lithuania, Scotland and Germany and achieved the inclusion of the project in the National Strategy on Violence against Women.
  • Put inequalities in our pension system firmly on the political agenda by working with and supporting older women from Cork and Kerry to advocate for greater pension equality as part of a coordinated campaign with Age Action and the Irish Countrywomen's Association (ICA). As a consequence the Government has committed to gender proof future pension policy and  reversing changes to the pension system made in 2012 that have had a particularlly detrimental impact on women who took time out of work to care for their children or family members.
  • Supported the establishment of a Women’s Caucus in Dáil Eireann which will bring together former and current women politicians to work together on key issues of concern for women. NWCI will be the Secretariat for the group which is being chaired by Catherine Martin, TD. 
  • Highlighted the need to provide reproductive healthcare services, including abortion, to all women and girls who need it. NWCI launched Every Woman – Our Model for affordable, accessible healthcare options for all women and girls and represented the views of our members at the Citizens Assembly. We also held a series of open conversations where people from all walks of life and from different perspectives could talk about women's decisions in pregnancy and abortion in a safe and inclusive space. 
  • Highlighted the specific mental health needs of women by co-hosting the World Congress on Women’s Mental Health (WCWMH): NWCI and Trinity College Dublin, co-hosted the conference with the International Association of Women’s Mental Health (IAWMH). As part of the Congress, we launched the first ever video on women’s mental health in Ireland “Out of Silence” and celebrated the adoption of the Dublin Declaration on Reproductive Rights.
  • Successfully advocated for the inclusion of a positive definition of consent in the Sexual Offences Act 2017 and achieved key changes to the Domestic Violence Bill: The Domestic Violence Bill which will create a new offence of coercive control and recognise that an intimate relationship between a defendent and victim should be seen as an aggravating factor in sentencing. 
  • Brought together feminists from across the country under the hashtag #FeministsAreEverywhere and discussed key issues for women’s equality at our annual AGM morning event.
  • Welcomed 21 new group members
  • Ensured a consistent voice for women by issuing over 40 press releases and numerous opinion pieces in a variety of media
  • Won the Sockies 2017 Social Media Award for Best Twitter-Not for Profit and increased our reach on all of our social media platforms to over 22,000 followers on Twitter, over 17,000 on Facebook and over 1,000 on Instagram.