Economic Violence Against Women and Girls also needs to be addressed

Nicola Grant, Workers Party constituency representative in Newry & Armagh represented the Party at yesterday’s all-party discussions at Stormont as part of the development of a strategy to end violence against women and girls.

Nicola also attended the conference later in the afternoon addressed by leading author and academic Dr Jackson Katz.

The Workers Party made a formal submission to the strategy consultation process earlier in the year in which it argued for a broader understanding of violence to include the impact which poverty has, particularly on women.

Speaking after her meeting at Stormont, Nicola said,

“Today’s meeting and conference represented a welcome and very necessary further step along the road to developing and adopting a robust approach to the problems of violence against women and girls.

“It was important the Workers Party were at the top table to voice the concerns of working-class women and girls and the lasting effects which economic violence can have on them”

“Of course, we must take every initiative and every opportunity to counter physical and psychological assaults on women and girls, but we must never lose sight of the violent effects which low pay, zero hours contracts, benefit cuts, inaccessible and unaffordable child care and a lack of affordable public housing can have on individuals and families”, she said.

“That is a message that must be heard and it is must be as central an issue in the final strategy as all other approaches”, Nicola concluded.

Violence against women: serious questions need to be addressed

The brutal murder of Offaly schoolteacher Aishling Murphy has devastated a family and sent shock waves through the local community and beyond.

It also raises serious questions about, and brings into sharp focus, the levels and nature of violence against women on this island

In the past year seven women were murdered in the Republic of Ireland. During the same period in Northern Ireland nine women were killed.

The patterns are horrifyingly similar. Over 60% of the victims were murdered in their own home. Well over half were killed by a current or former partner.

Updated, strengthened and robust legislation to protect women from violence and the threat of violence is urgently need in both jurisdictions

However, legislation alone, vital as it is, will not be enough to overcome a culture which sees women and girls as objects and commodities and tolerates misogyny and prejudicial gender-based attitudes.