A new report from the agency UN Women shows that there is still a huge gap between the legal guarantees of rights afforded to women and their everyday lives. Prefacing the report, its authors write: “This volume of Progress of the World’s Women starts with a paradox: the past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements.
The British New Economics Foundation (nef) today released a report, The Ratio, which suggests forcing companies to reveal the ratio between their bottom and top pay level. One of the report's authors, David Boyle, says:
"For too long, campaigns against corporate greed and ever-widening pay ratios have tended to be defensive and negative. They have been campaigns against rather than campaigns for equity, or anything else.
More than 10,000 schools were closed or partially closed in Britain yesterday and thousands marched in central London as the first mass strikes against the British government’s austerity plans took place. Between 100 and 200,000 civil servants (the figures are disputed) were also involved in the strikes over proposed changes to pension contributions and a plan to raise the pension age to 66.
The Irish-owned ship, the MV Saoirse, due to sail this week with the Freedom Flotilla 2 to Gaza, has been sabotaged while at berth the Turkish coastal town of Göcek, according to the Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign. The extent of the damage to the ship is such that it will not now participate in the flotilla.
Mass protests and a 48-hour general strike began in Greece yesterday as the Greek parliament prepared to vote on a €28bn austerity package for the country. The parliament is expected to finish debating the bill today around lunchtime, with the vote taking place soon after.
According to the Guardian, the measures being voted on include:
On Tuesday, on behalf of the United Left Alliance and a number of members of the Dáil Technical Group, Clare Daly TD tabled a Private Members’ motion with regard to the proposed overhaul of the Joint Labour Committee system.
On tabling the motion, she described it as of “huge importance”, saying, “The wages and conditions of more than 250,000 workers are at stake.” She called on the Labour Party to vote against any proposal to "lessen [the] terms and conditions of the lowest paid in our society."
Her speech is below.
Interviewed by Cathal MacCoille on today’s Morning Ireland, Micheál Martin gave the new Government ‘three or four out of ten’ for their first hundred days in office. He went on to say that,
I think it’s an anniversary that has been overhyped. I personally wouldn’t have put as much emphasis on the one hundred days as Enda Kenny himself has done. I think he over-promised what they would achieve in the first hundred days. In reality the government has yet to take any hard decisions.
Think-tank TASC yesterday launched a new report on health inequalities in Ireland. Authored by Sinéad Pentony and Sara Burke, with input from the TASC Health Inequalities Advisory Group, chaired by Prof Joe Barry, ‘Eliminating Health Inequalities – A Matter of Life and Death' outlines the interrelationship between economic inequality and inequality of health outcomes.
Speaking at the launch, Prof Barry said:
The Press Ombudsman has upheld a complaint by a coalition of national and international drug services against the Irish Independent for a column by Ian O’Doherty which described drug users as “vermin”, “feral, worthless scumbags” and which proclaimed that “if every junkie in this country were to die tomorrow I would cheer”.
The National Women’s Council of Ireland has expressed deep concern that the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, has not heeded its requests to meet with him to discuss his proposed changes to Joint Labour Committees (JLCs).