Make your Vote Count

It’s that time again where politicians are banging down our doors and pushing leaflets in our letter boxes in search of votes. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has been conned by a politician looking for a  fast vote. The last time the election rolled around a local politician lied straight to my face about his stance on repealing the 8th amendment. He was caught out though and has made his Pro-life stance quite clear since then. This time I am determined not to be caught out by the fibs of politicians, who are seeking only to fulfil their own needs and care very little for the rights of women in this country.

As such I will be attending ROSA Limerick’s event on Wednesday the 17th of February @ 8pm in the Perry Hotel Glentworth Street.

You may or may not have heard  of ROSA before. ROSA  stands for Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity. They were the wonderful individuals responsible for bringing the Abortion Pill Bus to Ireland and have campaigned tirelessly for women’s right to bodily autonomy.

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In the run up to the General Election, ROSA are hosting a candidates debate in Limerick to put the issues of women’s rights on the agenda. Chairing the discussion is Maura Adshead, Senior Lecturer of Politics and Public Administration at University of Limerick.

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The resounding YES in last year’s marriage equality referendum was a highlight of 2015. People seized the chance to vote against discrimination and vote for progressive change. In Limerick, 1,787 new voters joined the register to vote in the referendum. This is very positive development in the struggle against inequality and now we want to continue that fight and put pressure on all the politicians in the run up to the election 2016 on demands such as Repeal the 8th Amendment, affordable childcare, funding refuge and domestic violence support services and more…

On the night, ROSA will present our position on the below topics and then the candidates will outline their parties responses on…

1. Reproductive Rights
2. Public Services for Women
3. Combating Violence Against Women

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The questions that will be posed to the candidates are as follows:

1. Reproductive rights:
– Do you think that in the areas of health and education the state should provide support to people of all faiths and none equally? How is that possible in the current system?
– What proposed legislation in relation to abortion services would you enact if in government?
– Do you oppose changing or replacing the 8th amendment?
– Do you support a repeal of the 8th amendment?

2. Public Services:
– The cost of childcare is too high for most families and primarily women shoulder the burden of caring work. How do you think this should be alleviated?
– A pension gap exists due to the fact that women have to take time out of work to care. On average, a woman interrupting her career for five years would lose about 4 per cent of pension income. What do you propose to overcome this gap?
– Deprivation rates amongst One Parent Families are 63%. 98% of recipients of the OPFA are women. What services do you think should be available for OPF?
– Limerick has the second highest suicide rate in the country, therefore mental health is an extremely important issue in this constituency. Women are affected by depression at twice the rate of men. Women are also more likely to experience anxiety, eating disorders, and attempt suicide. What policies does your party have that would help tackle this crisis?
– Low paid work: 60% of low paid workers are women. Which of your party’s policies will best address this issue?

3. Violence Against Women:
– In your opinion, which measures have been most successful in tackling violence against women? What further measures would you support to go about changing Ireland’s record on violence against women?
– Many times women feel they can’t leave an abusive household because there is nowhere for her to go – what measures could your party put in place provide refuge for women suffering from violence?

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I hope to see you all there.

For more information please check out ROSAs Facebook Page  where you can find full details of the event and upcoming events in Limerick and Nationwide.

Huge thanks to Aprille for sharing the details of this event with me.

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