Strategies need to make Ireland a Living Wage island
October 2nd: Unite’s Regional Women’s Conference is being held today. Issues of concern to working women in both the Republic and Northern Ireland will be discussed, and the keynote speaker will be National Women’s Council Director Orla O’Connor.
Speaking ahead of the event, the Unite’s Regional Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor said:
“Over one million women North and South suffer from poverty and social exclusion – or nearly one in every three women on the island of Ireland. Both the Republic and Northern Ireland have some of the highest levels of poverty and social exclusion in the EU 15, as a result of low wages, precarious work, and inadequate social protection supports for those not in work. In both jurisdictions, these figures rose between 2010 and 2013: it is clear that women have been bearing the brunt of austerity.
“Nor is employment a route out of poverty for many women. Low pay is endemic throughout Ireland: more than one-in-ten women in the Republic are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, while the number rises to one-in-seven in Northern Ireland.
“The miserly Minimum Wage increases which took effect yesterday in the North, and are proposed for the Republic, will see many low-paid workers continuing to earn well below the Living Wage.
“North and South, we need to develop strategies to transform Ireland into a Living Wage island for both women and men”, Taryn Trainor concluded.