The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D. today launched the "Access to Employment" strand of the 2008 – 2013 Equality for Women Measure at an event in Dublin Castle. 

Minister Ahern announced; "The Government has doubled the allocation to the new Equality for Women Measure and we are making €61 million available under the current National Development Plan to support positive actions for women."

The new Equality for Women Measure will have four strands, to be launched sequentially. These will address labour market activation, entrepreneurship for women, initiatives to support the advancement of women already in the labour market and to increase the numbers of women in decision making. This follows the successful 2000 – 2007 Equality for Women Measure which directly benefited 41,000 women, including over 5,500 who received certified training.

The Minister explained a further positive development under the new Equality for Women Measure, whereby groups could apply for funding for periods of up to three years. He commented that; "This is a very positive development which will give projects the capacity to build upon their achievements and to offer their developmental programmes to many different groups of women over the life of the initiative."

Applications for funding are invited from community-based/not for profit groups, statutory groups and local consortia who would deliver self development, training and educational programmes to enable women to return to the labour market. Funding is currently being made available for the three year period to mid 2011.

Details of the "Access to Employment" strand of the Equality for Women Measure 2008 – 2013 are available on the Department of Justice website Further information and application forms will be available on the Pobal website from tomorrow.

27 May 2008