Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Councillor Debbie Coyle will raise concerns of women facing Brexit next week in Brussels

Published: 30 October, 2018

Enniskillen Councillor Debbie Coyle will be part of a women's delegation which will go to Brussels next week to raise issues affecting women as a result of Brexit.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Councillor Coyle said,

"During the summer I attended a workshop that brought women together from across the north and border counties to discuss Brexit and how it could affect women and our rights.

"It was felt very strongly that women's rights will be negatively impacted upon by Brexit. This would have a ripple effect and detrimentally impact family and community life.

"A lack of trust in the British government coupled with no actual concrete assurances from them on protections has resulted in genuine fear and concerns around a number of issues.

"The biggest fear raised during the workshop was the threat to the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement posed by Brexit. Worries were vocalised about the prospect of a hard-border and the undoing of years of cross-community work.

"Concerns were also raised on the issue of the non-implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325). It was felt that it is vital that more women should be included in the Brexit negotiations from across the community.

"The protection of children was another big concern raised, especially in the area of cross-border services; whether this be health services, schools, and youth clubs. There is great fear that funding related to these vital services and projects could be lost.

"One major concern raised, and one of particular interest to me as we head towards this year's 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was the impact of Brexit on the protection of women against discrimination and domestic and sexual violent abuse.

"There are real concerns around the loss of EU legislation that protects women from discrimination in the workplace.

"The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Istanbul Convention have not been fully implemented here, so cannot be used to mitigate against the worst impact for women. This causes real concern in relation to domestic and sexual violence and abuse as it is believed that it can only be tackled effectively using cross-border co-operation.

"Many other issues were raised including concerns around worker's rights, health, all-Ireland services and co-operation, rural communities, and funding which has been vital to our community.

"Next week I will be part of a women's delegation to Brussels, hosted by Martina Anderson MEP, to highlight these issues and concerns."- Ends/Críoch