Treaty ‘will speed up’ health privatisation
Women Say NO to the Lisbon Treaty
The Lisbon Treaty would accelerate the privatisation of health and social services, making access to these more difficult for women and children, a press conference heard.
The treaty would lead to a Europe that sees women as economic producers first and foremost, said Ailbhe Smith, academic and member of the People Before Profit organisation.
One of 10 women who spoke at a press conference of women against the treaty, she said the “much vaunted” Charter of Fundamental Rights failed to give new protections to women “and nowhere is the key issue of childcare addressed”.
Watch RTE NEWS REPORT here, press conference at end of report on Lisbon Treaty.
Bríd Smith of the Unite trade union, which has called for a No vote, said the treaty would lessen the capacity of unions to seek better pay and conditions for the most vulnerable workers, such as part-time and agency staff, who were predominantly women.
“The Charter of Fundamental Rights must be applied according to the prevailing circumstances in the country of origin. In this country we have no right to collective bargaining,” she said.
Rita Fagan, a community activist in Dublin’s south inner city, said the recent failure of public-private partnerships to deliver social housing should underline the danger of voting for a treaty, which would see further privatisation of social services.
Patricia McKenna of the Green Party said the treaty would require “legally binding commitments” from member states “to facilitate the expansion of the arms industry”.
Sinead Kennedy, an academic, contrasted today’s press conference with that of pro-Lisbon women who held a conference yesterday – “women like barristers and doctors, at the top of the social pile, who will do quite well out of this treaty”. She said the Treaty would most hurt the least well off and least powerful as it would “increase the power of corporate Europe”.
Also speaking today were community worker Cathleen O’Neill, health analyst Marie O’Connor, Louise Minihan of Sinn Féin, Therese Caherty of the Campaign Against the EU Constitution and Independent Galway city councillor, Catherine Connolly.
(Taken from Irish Times article by Kitty Holland. Images by Paula Geraghty)
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