Mike Nesbitt MLA questions the First and Deputy First Minister’s on their response to the Feminist Recovery Plan

The Women’s Policy Group would like to thank Mike Nesbitt MLA for questioning the First and Deputy First Minister’s on their response WPG COVID-19 Feminist Recovery Plan –  particularly on how they react to the NI Civil Service Response to the plan which denied the gender pay gap and rarely mentioned women. We look forward to working with both in the future on how the Executive can mitigate against the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women in Northern Ireland. Transcript below:

Transcript:

 

Mike Nesbitt:

“Could I ask the First Minister, does she support the Women’s Policy Group’s Document ‘Covid 19: A Feminist Recovery Plan’?”

 

Arlene Foster:

“I am very disappointed to tell the member that I haven’t read the document but if he would like to share it with me, he has clearly read it in great detail, and I would be only too happy to come back to him about it”

 

Mike Nesbitt:

“I recommend the document to the First Minister but also I recommend the response from the Civil Service and would she address the criticisms of the Women’s Policy Group to that response, particularly the denial of the fact that there is a gender pay gap, and the lack of reference to women given that 82% of part-time workers are female and therefore most affected by Covid-19.”

 

Arlene Foster:

“Thank you for raising that issue and that is an issue of great concern to me, and I believe to other members of the Executive as well, because we know that women are disproportionately hit by the Covid-19 restrictions – the fact that many of them are in part-time, low-paid jobs. The lady I was referring to in my first answer who was seeking to take her own life because she felt that there was no purpose left to her life – I think is something that we should be very very concerned about, so absolutely happy to follow up with member on that issue.”

END OF TRANSCRIPT