The Minister of State for Equality, Integration and Human Rights, Ms. Mary White T.D., today launched a new phase of the Equality for Women Measure at an event in Government Buildings.
Minister White told the gathering that the Government hopes to make over €2.1 million available each year for the next four years to support gender focused initiatives. Eligible projects might assist disadvantaged women to prepare for training, education or employment; help budding or developing female entrepreneurs; or support initiatives which help working women to advance up the career ladder.
The Minister said that she expects that at least 40 groups will be able to avail of this funding stream of up to €50,000 each year, with extensions of the funding depending on the successful completion of each year's work programme. This new funding stream complements the funding of €2 million already made available to 36 groups under the first phase of the Equality for Women Measure in 2009/2010. The Minister acknowledged that support which comes from the European Social Fund for this initiative.
Minister White noted that 2010 celebrates the 15th anniversary of the UN Beijing Platform for Action, a global commitment by Governments to foster gender equality. Minister White noted:
"The considerable achievements of the Irish Government to support women here since the publication of the Beijing Platform in 1995. This includes a major investment programme in quality childcare, a five-fold increase in child benefit, significantly extended maternity leave, to mention but a few."
The Minister also noted that:
"During this fifteen year period, women have made a huge contribution to our economy as the number of women at work has almost doubled."
Minister White emphasised the economic benefits of a progressive gender equality policy stating that:
"The benefits of achieving gender equality by supporting access to education and skills development, vocational and occupational training for the creation of a competitive workforce cannot be overestimated".
Full details of the Equality for Women Measure 2010 - 2013 and application forms for funding are available on the Pobal Ltd. website www.pobal.ie.
12 May 2010
Note for Editors:
Equality for Women Measure is a positive action programme for women, led by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform/ Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, which aims to foster gender equality in accordance with the National Women's Strategy 2007-2016. The Strategy's vision is 'an Ireland where all women enjoy equality with men and can achieve their full potential, while enjoying a safe and fulfilling life'.
The Equality for Women Measure will receive European Social Fund support under the Human Capital Investment Operational Programme. This re-launch of the Equality for Women Measure is providing grant assistance exceeding €2 million available to a range of projects over a four year period subject to no significant deterioration in the budgetary position.
Funding of up to €50,000 per annum per project will be made available to suitably qualified organisations including:
· Community and Voluntary Organisations
· Non-Government Organisations
· Recognised Training Providers
· State Agencies
· Trade Unions
· Employer Organisations
· Other appropriate groups/organisations
for clearly target projects which foster gender equality.
The Equality for Women Measure will make grant funding available to groups on an annual basis, for one or more years (subject to conditions). Applications are invited from groups under one of the three strands of the Measure:
Strand 1 Access to Employment
Aim: To provide women who are currently outside the labour market with the social skills, and/or education, and/or training to enable them to enter or return to the labour market.
Strand 2 Developing Female Entrepreneurship
Aim: To support the development of women who are or want to become entrepreneurs.
Strand 3 Career Development for Women in Employment
Aim: To support the provision of training and other developmental mechanisms to enable women who are in employment to advance their careers.
Making an Application
Pobal Ltd manages the Equality for Women Measure on behalf of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform/ Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs
Application forms are available to download from the Pobal Ltd website: www.pobal.ie
Alternatively an application form can be obtained by telephoning Pobal Ltd. on: 01 2400700.
The closing date for receipt of applications is Wednesday 16 June 2010.
Regional Information Sessions
Pobal will be organising public information sessions in May/June 2010 for interested applicants at a number of venues around the country. Venues and dates will be displayed on the Pobal website (www.pobal.ie).