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Budget 2025 last opportunity for this government to steer Ireland towards gender equality

Published: Wednesday, July 03, 2024

The National Women’s Council (NWC) today called on government to be ambitious and feminist in their approach to Budget 2025. The organisation said that, as the government’s last chance to improve gender equality, they must make significant structural investments and reform in public services that meet the needs of all women and broader society. NWC has identified 5 key areas for structural investment: childcare, housing and homelessness, feminist climate justice, healthcare, and social protection.

NWC Women’s Economic Equality Coordinator Donal Swan said:

“An economy that works for women depends on a strong, resilient system of universal public services. Public childcare has been shown time and again to be a huge driver of women’s equality. The public model that we are calling for would ensure an affordable place for every child in the country, and this in turn means that women and parents can keep participating in all facets of society even as they rear young children.”

The ongoing housing crisis affects women in different ways to men. NWC is calling on government to end the housing, homelessness and accommodation crisis, and to ensure gender-sensitive and accessible housing and accommodation for women.  

NWC’s Head of Policy and Development Kate Mitchell said:

“Domestic violence is the leading cause of women’s homelessness. Exploitative practices such as ‘sex-for-rent’ are facilitated by the housing crisis and almost exclusively affect women. In tackling the housing crisis, government must take considerations such as these into account. Importantly, they must prioritise investment in state-led building alongside strengthening tenants’ rights, making sex-for-rent a named criminal offence, and providing more refuge spaces for women fleeing gender-based violence.”

Healthcare must also be gender-sensitive, considering the different life experiences women have, and be accessible for all. We are particularly calling on the government to fully resource its own Sharing the Vision Strategy, which takes a gender and trauma-informed approach to women’s mental health.

The climate crisis and the response to it must aim to tackle social inequalities, not exacerbate them. We are calling on government to include women and marginalised communities at all stages of the climate response. In particular, Budget 2025 must tackle energy poverty by targeting supports at the most marginalised groups affected, and invest in public transport that is accessible for all.

The social protection system is crucial for ending women’s poverty and inequality. Women continue to have lower incomes, less wealth, fewer resources, all while shouldering the greater share of care and support responsibilities across society. The social protection system must tackle gender inequality through adequate, secure supports. It must also recognise and value work done outside of paid employment – like community work, and unpaid care and support work– and that keep up with the rising cost of living.



For comment: Donal Swan and Kate Mitchell

Find here NWC’s pre-budget submission: https://www.nwci.ie/images/uploads/NWC_Pre-Budget_Submission_2025_FINAL.pdf

And a summary document: https://www.nwci.ie/images/uploads/NWC_Pre-Budget_Submission_2025_SUMMARY_DOCUMENT_FINAL.pdf

For more information, please contact Sinéad Nolan, NWC Communications and Social Media Coordinator, 085 8619087 or sineadn@nwci.ie


What: Launch of NWC Pre-Budget Submission 2025

When: Wednesday 3 July, 1pm – 2pm

Where: online. Please register here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/national-womens-council-pre-budget-submission-2025-online-launch-tickets-928449426227

About NWC

The National Women’s Council is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. We have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters.

The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality and no woman is left behind. This ambition shapes and informs our work, and, with our living values, how we work.

We are a movement-building organisation rooted in our membership, working on the whole island of Ireland. We are also part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights. Our purpose is to lead action for the achievement of women’s and girls’ equality through mobilising, influencing, and building solidarity. Find out more on www.nwci.ie