A Woman’s Model For Social Welfare Reform
Murphy, Mary (2003) A Woman’s Model For Social Welfare Reform. The National Women’s Council of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.
The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) commissioned this research because of its concern that the social welfare system continues to deny women full independence. Even now, in 2003, the system reinforces a notion of women as adult dependants, rather than as individuals entitled to benefits in their own right. Furthermore, the social welfare system fails to give adequate recognition to women’s unpaid caring work. The consequences of this failure are the higher-than-average risks of poverty experienced by certain categories of women who are, or have been, engaged in caring work for long periods, particularly lone parents and older women. We are seeking in this research to advance a model of social welfare reform that promotes the economic independence of women within the social welfare code and enables individual (non-derived) rights to social welfare. The NWCI strongly advocates a rights approach that recognises economic independence within the family as an essential precursor to realising full citizenship rights for women in society. This definition emphasises the need for personal freedom and independence as a fundamental principle underpinning a rights approach to equality.
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