Gender Equality Strategy

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 5 December 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Paul Givan Paul Givan DUP 2:45, 5 December 2016

This year is the fortieth anniversary of the introduction of sex discrimination law in Northern Ireland. We have had an Executive gender equality strategy in place for the last 10 years, yet there are still stark examples of gender inequality in our society. There remains, for example, a gender pay gap in Northern Ireland. I have also noted from the Equality Commission's Expecting Equality investigation that 36% of women participating in the investigation believed that they had been treated unfairly or disadvantaged at work as a result of their pregnancy or having taken maternity leave. It also revealed that half of the women thought that their career opportunities were worse than they were before their pregnancy. On a slightly more positive note, 48% of survey respondents felt that they had been treated fairly. That is why I believe that fresh thinking is required and why I am keen to look at this cross-cutting issue in the context of the social strategy, which will go out for consultation in due course.