The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Michael McDowell T.D., today announced the allocation of almost 2.2 million euro in grant assistance to eighteen projects which will address Equality for Women. 

Of this amount, more than 1.95 million euro will support projects in CLAR areas (areas of rural regeneration) and about 250,000 euro will go to projects with an educational focus. 

Announcing details of the successful applicants (details attached), the Tánaiste said, "This final allocation under the Equality for Women Measure of the National Development Plan 2000-2006 complements grant assistance totalling over 7 million euro in 2005 for 58 projects for initiatives to foster gender equality in RAPID areas which are targeted for urban regeneration".    

Women in all areas of Ireland have now had an opportunity to benefit from this Measure while some resources have been focused specifically on organisations working to enhance equality for women living in particularly disadvantaged areas.
The projects which I am announcing today will be part-funded by the European Social Fund which actively supports gender equality initiatives and which has also supported many projects under the earlier phases of the Measure."

The Tánaiste welcomed the fact that these high quality projects will individually contribute further to the knowledge, resources and support developed so far under this very successful Equality for Women Measure which has benefited many thousands of women since it was first launched in 2000. 

28 December 2006


The following organisations are to receive funding under this Phase of Equality for Women Measure Funding, subject to signature by the grant recipient of a binding commitment and final contract discussion:  

Equality for Women Measure - CLAR Strand

Organisation CLAR Area to benefit Funding Approved
National Women's Council of Ireland Leitrim, Mayo and Clare 199,170.00 euro
Longford Women's Link North Longford 132,275.00 euro
Migrants Right Centre Ireland West Clare, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, West Cork 69,627.50 euro
Avondhu Development Group Ltd North Cork 27,024.00 euro
Co. Kilkenny VEC Kilkenny 100,260.00 euro
Ballyhoura Development Ltd Limerick, Cork 190,000.00 euro
West Cork Community Partnership West Cork 169,840.00 euro
Co Carlow VEC Carlow 175,980.00 euro
Southwest Kerry Women's Association Southwest Kerry 78,273.00 euro
Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann Islands off Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Cork 195,000.00 euro
Meath Partnership Meath 130,436.00 euro
IRD Duhallow Ltd Kerry, Cork 109,000.00 euro
Co Mayo Vocation Education Committee Mayo 190,000.00 euro
Gort Family Resource Centre Galway 33,800.00 euro
Second Chance Education Project for Women Donegal 82,658.00 euro
West Limerick Resources Ltd Limerick 65,109.00 euro

Equality for Women Measure - Access to Further/Higher Education Strand

Organisation Funding Approved
Waterford Institute of Technology 69,941 euro
Co. Meath VEC 180,251 euro

Information Note for Editors

Equality for Women Measure

The Equality for Women Measure (EWM) of the National Development Plan 2000 - 2006 is a positive action programme which is designed to tackle attitudinal, cultural and structural barriers to women's equal participation in society. The target groups for the measure include women in business, women in trade unions and women in the home. There is also a special focus on women who experience high levels of disadvantage such as women with disabilities, women refugees and women who experience violence.

The Measure provided funding to projects designed to promote:

The Equality for Women Measure was funded initially from the Regional Operational Programmes of the National Development Plan which set aside almost 30 million euro for the period 2000 to 2006.  Since then, the Measure has been reinforced with funding of over 6 million euro from the Employment and Human Resource Development Operational Programme, including 3 million euro from the European Social Fund.  Since 2001, the vast bulk of that funding has been provided to organisations to deliver positive action projects for women in their communities, in education and training, in work and in decision making. 

As a positive action programme, the Equality for Women Measure, along with gender mainstreaming, reflects the dual approach of the Irish Government to promoting equality for women.  Since its inception in 2000, the Measure has demonstrated the ongoing relevance of positive action, both to contributing to the wellbeing of women in different situations, and to reinforcing the impact of gender mainstreaming.

A broad range of organisations have benefited from this funding, including women's groups and other groups in the community and voluntary sector, employers, trade unions, local enterprise boards, third level institutions and political parties. The spread of actions supported by the Measure is comprehensive and diverse, ranging from providing foundation training to women in their communities, to building gender equality capacity within the social partners.  A common feature across all projects is the relevance of the actions they are undertaking to address the attitudinal, cultural and structural barriers to equality for women.

Under Phase I which was announced in 2000, a sum of 15 million euro was invested in seventy projects nationwide aimed at improving the economic, social and political lives of women. The majority of these projects concluded in 2004.

Under Phase II of the Measure which was launched in 2004, investment in RAPID areas had been prioritised with 7 million euro being earmarked for 58 projects benefiting women in these areas.  A further 1 million euro had been allocated to FÁS under Phase II to mainstream the "Gateways for Women" initiative which targets women who wish to return to the workforce.

Now, under Phase III, the Tánaiste is providing almost 2m euro for a similarly targeted approach of CLÁR areas, the areas of rural disadvantage. In addition, under Phase III, his Department requested proposals from higher or further education institutions to develop education, training or wider support programmes to assist women to effectively access further or higher education, particularly disadvantaged women.  Some 0.25m euro is being provided to two successful applicants under this strand of the Measure.