Working For Equality In Irish Society
Irish society remains profoundly unequal, with a significant and increasing polarisation between rich and poor. Despite the economic prosperity of recent years, many disadvantaged areas and communities have never received any benefits. As a socialist, I believe in the use of the taxation system to redistribute wealth, to minimise polarisation in society, and to ensure the alleviation of poverty. Only radical policies will effectively combat poverty and eliminate inequalities. I have campaigned and will continue to campaign for:
- Full implementation of Equal Status/Equality legislation.
- Rights-based legislation on disability.
- Innovative use of the taxation system to redistribute wealth throughout the community.
I have long been a passionate advocate for equality and social justice in our society. In particular, I have worked on women’s rights campaigns; on campaigns for the rights of people with disabilities; for gay rights; and for the rights of those from ethnic minorities. I have published extensively in newspapers and journals on equality and human rights law issues.
Equality in Healthcare
As a vital part of my vision for Irish society, I have always campaigned and will continue to campaign for the introduction of a healthcare system that is based on equity. I am firmly opposed to the strengthening of the two-tier system that is represented by Minister Mary Harney’s hospital co-location plans, and I have also spoken out against aspects of her healthcare proposals that I believe will reduce the quality of medical training for our doctors, and will diminish the quality of the health service received by patients. I call for the introduction instead of:
- A fully state-funded national health service, based on need not means.
- A health service that is managed principally by doctors, not administrators
Speech by Ivana Bacik on Eighth Amendment Committee Report
17 January 2018
Seanad Group Leader, Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment
As chairperson of the Vótáil100 committee which is organising the celebrations around the 2018 centenary of women's suffrage in Ireland, I am delighted that we will have so many exciting events and exhibitions taking place in Leinster House. The first year that Irish women had the right to vote and run in parliamentary elections was 1918. Over the course of 2018, the Houses of the Oireachtas will commemorate this important centenary with a programme of cultural, historical and educational events marking the work of the suffrage movement in Ireland going back to the early 19th century.
Almost 30 years ago, I was threatened with prison by SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children). It was September 1989. I was president of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), and SPUC were seeking to imprison our four TCDSU sabbatical officers for providing information on abortion in our students’ union handbooks during Freshers’ Week.
A few years previously, the 1983 Eighth Amendment had been passed, equating the lives of “mother” and “unborn”.