Women's Lives: Workshops on pension equality

For women, one of the key concerns is not having access to pension entitlements in the first place.

Catherine Lane

Reporter:

Catherine Lane

Email:

editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

Women's Lives: Workshop on pension equality

“My long search for security in my later years has left me feeling frustrated with the social welfare system.

“ I feel unvalued by the state for all the years I’ve given to caring, we were unpaid workers who took care of parents. We saved the state a lot of money.” - Quote from an older woman

“It’s time we as women developed a social awareness on the issue of pension rights for all women, whom I hope, will ultimately lead to political change for women, who like me at some time in their lives must face the reality of living in poverty in their old age.” - Mary Farren, Clare

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) is inviting older women in Donegal to take part in three workshops that will highlight current pension policy and how it impacts on older women.

While the €5 increase to weekly pension payments in Budget 2017 is very welcome, there is an urgent need for significant pension reform.

The gender pension gap has widened in recent years to 37 per cent. This inequality is directly related to women taking time out of paid work to care for children or family and losing the opportunity to build up enough PRSI contributions to qualify for a full contributory pension.

For women, one of the key concerns is not having access to pension entitlements in the first place. Women mainly rely on state pensions in their older years, but only 16 per cent of those receiving a full State Contributory Pension are women. To ensure proper pension equality for women, it is crucial that women’s experiences and the recognition of women’s contribution to families and communities are at the centre of reform. This is why NWCI is calling on older women to make their voices heard and take action.

The three workshops in Donegal will be held with the support of the National Collective of Community-based Women’s Networks-Donegal Women’s Network. You will get a better understanding of current pension policy and how it impacts on older women in Ireland. You will get a chance to find out how to make changes to improve the situation for older women and get active in bringing about change.

The first workshop will be an opportunity to discuss the impact of pension inequality on older women and hear about your own experience. The second workshop will provide training in how to bring about change and who makes the decisions. You will hear from other older people that have been active in calling for change. The third meeting will share learnings and look at the next steps. The policy team will use the experiences of the women in our work for pension equality.

Dates for your diary

Venue: Donegal Womens Centre, Port Road, Letterkenny.
Monday 10th April - 10am - 2pm
Saturday 13th May – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday 14th June – 10am – 4pm
Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, registration and venue details for these workshops, please phone Eilís or Catherine on 01 679 0100 or email catherinel@nwci.ie

For more information from NWCI, please contact Catherine Lane on 01 679 0100. The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) is the national representative organisation for women and women's groups in Ireland. There are currently 180 group members and a growing number of individual members. The NWCI work to secure full equality between men and women.