Equality Authority CEO outlines new Equality Challenges

Unprecedented progress has been made in recent years in the development of equality and in combating discrimination but considerable challenges lie ahead, Niall Crowley, Chief Executive of the Equality Authority said today at the National Economic and Social Forum’s Plenary on Equality Issues in Dublin Castle. Niall Crowley set out the continuing challenges in the development of a Strategy on Equality Issues.

He said;

” a ‘Strategic Framework for Action’ on Equality needs to be defined in terms of ways to build a more equal society. We must have a clear objective and vision. In the past, equality has been synonymous with gender equality. The current legislation provides protection for people on nine grounds,. gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, race and membership of the Traveller community”.
Niall Crowley also pointed out; the important of acknowledging and celebrating diversity and the potential of mutual learning across the boundaries of difference.

He went on to say;

“Concepts of identity and diversity are central to a strategic framework. A focus on diversity, which is implicit in the new legislation, gives value to differences within Irish society, which for a long time embraced a mythical homogenisation around a post colonial identity “.

There are significant challenges to be faced in consolidating and building on recent
achievements. They include mainstreaming which must be at the heart of any strategic framework. Mainstreaming involves the mobilisation of all policy, provision and practice, whatever their primary objective, behind the goal of equality.