Skip to main content

Focus on domestic violence and coercive control part of a Programme for Government that prioritises women – Carroll MacNeill

Free contraception and a focus on period poverty also form part of progressive measures for the next government

19th June 2020 - Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD

A focus on domestic violence and coercive control are part of a range of commitments for women in what is a progressive Programme for Government, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Dun Laoghaire TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill said: “The new Programme for Government is strong on progressive commitments for women. It is so important to see the document recognise that we are experiencing an epidemic of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

“The Programme for Government commits the new government to an audit of how responsibility for domestic sexual and gender-based violence is segmented across different government agencies, and to develop proposals on what infrastructure is needed to ensure that the issue is dealt with in the most effective manner possible.

“The document also commits the next government to investigate the provision of paid leave and social protection provision to victims of domestic violence. This builds on work completed recently by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, to make Rent Supplement more easily available to victims of domestic violence. It allows anyone experiencing domestic violence to get immediate access to Rent Supplement for a three month period to ensure that they are not prevented from leaving their home because of financial concerns.

“The Programme for Government also commits to implementing a plan for future refuge space on the publication of a review of domestic violence accommodation provision. This is urgently needed and it is positive that it is provided for in the document.

“The issue of coercive control, something on which I have been working for some time, is also highlighted in the Programme for Government, which commits to training for professionals who may have contact with a victim of this very serious crime.

“The provision of free contraception and a focus on the issue of period poverty, are also key parts of what is a progressive Programme for Government,” continued Deputy Carroll MacNeill.

“This is the first time the issue of period poverty has been highlighted in a Programme for Government. As part of a range of measures to increase supports for students, the document commits the next Government to providing a range of free, adequate, safe, and suitable period products in all educational publicly-funded settings (including schools, colleges and HEIs), to ensure that no students are disadvantaged in their education by period poverty.

“This is a really welcome move and builds on work undertaken by Fine Gael in the outgoing Government, which set up a sub-committee under the National Strategy for Women and Girls (NWSG), on the issue of period poverty. I also commend the work of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus for highlighting the importance of this during the last Dáil.

“According to the document, the next government will also provide free contraception over a phased period, starting with women aged 17-25. This is very significant for women’s health but is also a hugely important follow through on the recommendations of the cross party Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment, as part of measures to reduce crisis pregnancies.

“All in all the Programme for Government is good for women and it has my support. It contains a range of progressive measures on which I look forward to working should this document pass the membership of the three parties looking to create a stable government and ensure Ireland has a prosperous future.”

Stay Up To Date With Fine Gael