Sir, – I was amused to read Derek J Byrne’s poorly informed polemic against gender quotas in politics (March 9th). I would urge Mr Byrne to read the 2009 report of the Joint Oireachtas Justice Committee on women’s participation in politics, in which we put forward the evidence-based arguments for adopting positive action measures to increase the numbers of women TDs.
Today in the Order of Business I reminded the Minister of the urgency to amend the Employment Equality Act and asked that we get an update on how soon we can see the changes that currently discriminate against LGBT identifying teachers and health workers.
I was pleased in 2013 to publish the Employment Equality (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2013 and watch it progress through the various committee stages.
Fatal Foetal Abnormalities - urgent need to legislate!
Following the defeat of Clare Daly's Fatal Foetal Abnormalities Bill which was largely deemed unconstitutional by those who voted against it, I wrote to Jerry Buttimer, TD Chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee asking that they hold hearings to begin the process of examining the possibility of legislating for abortion in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities.
Here is some of the coverage around my call for further action.
Irish Times on Thursday 12th February coverage of my letter to the Oireachtas Health Committee. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/senator-asks-health-committee-to-resume-abortion-hearings-1.2100440
Last week in the Seanad I welcomed the fact that we were debating the issue of Direct Provision again. Here is the transcript from my contribution to the debate when Minister O'Riordan returned to the chamber to discuss further issues.