Equal Rights

The Progressive Unionist Party is conscious of the gross under- representation of women in positions of power and influence within our society, and is mindful of the fact that women have a vital role to play at all levels of activity in the social, political and cultural development of our Province. Consequently the party actively encourages the nomination and acceptance of women as party delegates, office bearers and candidates for election and wholeheartedly endorses the following principles as being essential to securing justice for women in our society:-

  • Equal pay for work of equal value and an end to women being regarded as a source of cheap labour in low-esteem part-time jobs.
  • Improved rights for part-time workers, including the right to be represented by a trades union and the right to equal status in Law regarding pay and employee benefits.
  • Crèche and nursery facilities to be made available in the workplace to help facilitate the right of working mothers and other single parents to take up employment opportunities,
  • More benefits for working married mothers such as Childcare Allowance, Flexible Working Hours, Reasonable periods of emergency leave, training schemes and further educational opportunities.
  • Childcare to be accepted as a universal right and to be to be looked upon as a partnership approach involving local authorities, schools, the voluntary sector, trades unions and parents.
  • Adequate levels of welfare benefits to ensure realistic financial maintenance for children and for single-parent families.
  • The legal right of non wage-earning women to adequate financial support.
  • More financial and material support for women who have taken responsibility for households due to the imprisonment of their partner.
  • Full and complete health checks for women of child-bearing age with particularly reference to screening for breast and cervical cancer.
  • The right of women to have intimate examinations carried out by a women doctor.
  • A more open and adequate sex education programme backed up by a free comprehensive family planning service for all.
  • Acknowledgement of an individual's right to control one's own body irrespective of marital status together with an acceptance of a woman's right to choose whether to continue with or whether to terminate a pregnancy.
  • The extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland together with a confidential and non-judgmental advisory service on abortion and related issues together with access to free confidential treatment as urgently as required.
  • More adequate provision of facilities and support for victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and incest, and a strengthening of the law in relation to rape and all forms of sexual assault.
  • More stringent endeavours to tackle and eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.