It has been reported that Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún "has this morning spoken in the European Parliament in support of the establishment of a community programme relating to employment and social cohesion. The programme particularly supports gender mainstreaming and people with disabilities."
Ms de Brún welcomed the report by Karin Jöns MEP regarding the establishment of 'a Community programme for employment and social solidarity - PROGRESS' between the years 2007 and 2013. In her speech, she stressed the importance of providing support for NGOs.
Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:
"Let us be clear, the current EU economic strategies are driving more and more people into poverty within the European Union. I hope that this PROGRESS programme can be an important instrument in the fight against social exclusion and on this basis, I will be voting in favour of the report.
"I particularly want to welcome the emphasis placed upon the inclusion of gender mainstreaming, people with disabilities and the NGO sector in this programme. I also want to throw my support behind calls for an increase in financial aid from €628.8 to €943.2 million. If projects such as those to be supported by this programme are to be successful, then resources need to be targeted and sustainable.
"The strengthening of gender equality should be supported wholeheartedly by the European Parliament. In Ireland, the gender pay gap has substantially increased for women and the gap between men's and women's pay is among the largest of any EU member state. Irish women are paid 17% less for the same work as Irish men.
"Sinn Féin believes in bringing about fundamental change within society to both mindsets and social conditions. Let us be clear, the current economic strategies are driving more and more people into poverty within the European Union. I hope that the PROGRESS programme can be an important instrument in the fight against social exclusion. On this basis, I will be voting in favour of the report, and urge my fellow MEPs to do likewise."