Equality Minister Mr. John Moloney, T.D., today published the first Progress Report on the National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016.

The Report outlines developments to the end of 2008 and shows many positive outcomes for women since the Strategy was published in 2007. Containing more than 200 actions, the National Women's Strategy aims to achieve.

An Ireland where all women enjoy equality with men and can achieve their full potential, while enjoying a safe and fulfilling life.

A wide range of Government Departments and Agencies are involved in its implementation. Minister Moloney noted that

 "There has been significant progress under each of the themes of the  Strategy and its 20 key objectives. The themes focus on equalising socio- economic opportunity for women, ensuring the wellbeing of women and  engaging women as equal and active citizens".

Highlighting a couple of noteworthy achievements, the Minister pointed out that

• The number of women at work increased slightly over the period (mid 2007 to end 2008) to reach 906,700 at the end of 2008. He noted that the early stages of the economic recession impacted more on men’s rather than on women’s employment.

• The past two years has brought a number of important developments in women’s health services.  These include the extension of BreastCheck and the launch of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Service.

• Significant steps have been taken to protect women with the establishment of Cosc (The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence) in 2007 and the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in 2008, both of which are based in Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

• The greater involvement of women in decision-making roles is a key goal of the Strategy. Women now account for almost a third of all managerial and administrative positions. The Minister noted that he would like to see a similar trend in Irish politics.

The full text of the Progress Report is available on the Department's website www.justice.ie 

6 August 2009 

Note for Editors

Background

The National Women's Strategy is the Government's statement of priorities in relation to the advancement of women in Irish society for the period 2007 to 2016.  The Strategy has tried to find every facet of a woman’s life in Ireland.   Its overarching vision is of

An Ireland where all women enjoy equality with men and can achieve their full potential, while enjoying a safe and fulfilling life.

The National Women’s Strategy has been organised under three key themes :

• Equalising socio- economic opportunity for women       
• Ensuring the wellbeing of women
• Engaging as equal and active citizens

It is an all of Government Strategy which contains 20 key objectives and over 200 planned actions.

The social partners agreed in Sustaining Progress to the completion of a National Women’s Strategy. The work commenced in earnest in 2005 and the project was further endorsed in Towards 2016.

First Progress Report

The First Progress Report for the period April 2007 to the end of 2008 on the National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016 was prepared by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform with inputs from other relevant Government Departments and State Agencies.

The Progress Report was prepared for the National Women’s Strategy Monitoring Committee which brings together representatives of Government Departments, State Agencies and the Social Partners, under the Chairmanship of Mr. John. Moloney, T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Disability Issues and Mental Health.

The Progress Report contains an overview of the national and international environment. It aslo contains details of advances made in the implementation of the key themes and their constituent objectives. A Postscript makes reference to the economic downturn and the altered environment which has deteriorated since the end of 2008.

The appended tables summarise the key themes and their objectives.

Appendix