Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-03-12-Speech-1-115-000"

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"Madam President, I am still new here. I am very pleased to be here and my arrival has meant that the Irish delegation in the S&D is 100% female, a fact that I am particularly proud of. Irish women particularly have much to thank the European Union for. After Ireland’s entry into the European Union much equality legislation was placed on our statue books, which I regret successive Irish Governments had failed to do. One of the most significant examples of this was the removal of the marriage bar, whereby women who worked in the public service were denied the right to work after they married. The marriage bar was lifted in 1974 following our entry into the European Union. Membership of the EU did much, but progress has been slow since then and there is still much that has to be done. Women are under-represented at decision-making level in many spheres: at government level, at national parliament level and also at local government level while at the same time women are very active in communities. Yet women in communities feel that their work there is very much undervalued. For that reason I believe that the implementation of quotas is necessary to improve the participation of women. I compliment the two rapporteurs of this report and also welcome the commitment and the call on the Commission to introduce gender auditing of budgets, particularly in these difficult economic times."@en1

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