Page 16

Equal opportunities

What’s the point in having an ‘equality year’?

Equalit is look

INTERVIEW WITH: N ‘E G REPORTER: What are the equality authority’s main priorities this year?

“We see this as an opportunity, eight years into our own existence, to celebrate what’s been achieved, then, going forward, renew our commitment to tackling inequality. Through the proposed actions for the year ahead, we want to give a new dynamism to the equality agenda and leave a legacy for change into the future.” - Niall Crowley, CEO of the Equality Authority.

‘European Year of Equal Opportunities for All’ 2007 has been identified by the European Commission as European Year of Equal Opportunities for All. They have established four objectives for the year: - To raise awareness of rights under the equality legislation. - To promote the participation of underrepresented groups in all sectors. - To encourage a celebration of diversity in society. - To support social cohesion and good relations between groups. The Equality Authority has been appointed as the National Implementation Body for the Year in Ireland, and has completed a consultation exercise to shape a strategy for the Year. A key part of the strategy will seek to support nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and changing ireland

community groups to take initiatives to achieve progress on burning issues for groups experiencing inequality. The Equality Authority is a statutory body mandated to promote equality and eliminate discrimination in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services, accommodation and education. • For further information, contact: The Equality Authority, 2 Clonmel Street, Dublin 2. Public Information Centre: Locall 1890 245 545. Main Tel: 01-4173333. Business Queries: 01-4173336. Text Phone: 01-4173385. Fax: 01-4173331. E-mail: info@equality.ie Website: www.equality.ie

16

1. We want to help organisations to gear up to tackle inequality. We want to help them examine how they operate, look at their training needs, and take a more planned and systematic approach. 2. The second priority is in tackling the burning issues which we identified in consultations, with over fifty organisations – non-governmental organisations (NGOs), social partners, government departments, state agencies and media organisations. We will be seeking to support NGOs to take initiatives to achieve progress on burning issues for groups experiencing inequality. What is the importance of the community & voluntary sector in tackling inequality? We see the sector as key players in the equality agenda. Community groups and CDPs engage directly with groups that are experiencing inequality, so we would see them as having a role in articulating their interests and negotiating change. What are the main points of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All? We’ve come up with six priority areas: Information and advocacy, equality mainstreaming, equality competence, equality debate, multiple discrimination, and ‘the burning issues’. We will be seeking to get institutions to look at how they can engage and adjust for change, and we’ll be supporting policy and training in that respect. We’ve found the public and private sector very enthusiastic FAS and the HSE will lead a learning network in the public sector and IBEC will do so in the private sector. As regards the community and voluntary area, a key event will be the sector review. We will then organise a conference to look

boo-hoo for capitalism: 824 million people hit by chronic hunger in 2003 - unicef

Profile for CHANGING IRELAND

CHANGING IRELAND ISSUE 21  

Hot in Issue 21: MAIN STORY: BURNING SOCIAL ISSUES -'This place has changed my life big-time' (New Ross) - Report shows what CDPs actually d...

CHANGING IRELAND ISSUE 21  

Hot in Issue 21: MAIN STORY: BURNING SOCIAL ISSUES -'This place has changed my life big-time' (New Ross) - Report shows what CDPs actually d...

Advertisement