• Call for Government to review treatment of Endometriosis
    The Endometriosis Association of Ireland (EAI) has quoted the waiting time for diagnosis as being up to nine years – longer than the seven-and-a-half years reported in the UK. Endometriosis affects can cause debilitating pain, heavy periods, painful sex, painful bowl and bladder movements, fatigue and infertility. The UK is finally starting to address this horrific condition and following an MP inquiry in the UK, the majority of people have shared stories of how their mental health, education and careers had been damaged by the condition. More than 10,000 people took part in the All-Party Political Group inquiry which found that 58% of people visited the GP more than 10 times before diagnosis and 53% went to A&E with symptoms before diagnosis. The majority of people also told MPs their mental health, education and careers had been damaged by the condition. About 90% said they would have liked access to psychological support but were never offered it, with 35% having a reduced income due to endometriosis. In survey of 13,500 women it found that half of them reported being addicted to painkillers and having suicidal thoughts. Due to a "gender pain gap" women's symptoms are often belittled by doctors, despite numerous visits to A&E, local GPs and specialists. Pain is notoriously hard to describe and pinpoint. But for women, the work is doubly arduous. We have to learn to advocate for ourselves and one another. But we need doctors and health professionals to meet us in the middle, believe our testimonies and help us over the line to diagnosis and treatment. With no cure for the condition and limited treatment including hormone therapy and surgery. It's time to call on the Government to establish a working group to address the long waiting times for diagnosis, treatment of the condition and the major psychological damage it has on the women who suffer from it. Endometriosis care across Ireland needs urgent improvement and diagnosis times need to be cut in half. We can't carry on like this, one in ten could means one day it could be you, your sister, girlfriend or friend suffering from this debilitating condition. *(Although endometriosis is most commonly referred to as a female disease. Endometriosis may also impact Trans/Cis Males. There are documented cases of cis men (someone who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth) who present with endometriosis of the prostate that is typically discovered when their body is introduced to estrogenic effects. There is also population of trans men (and trans women) who face living with endometriosis everyday whose experience with the disease goes un-researched) Additional Resources: Endometriosis Association of Ireland: https://www.endometriosis.ie/?gclid=CjwKCAjw_sn8BRBrEiwAnUGJDou2wgRqMbtuQ0nzBYwM0L8x9Dy_r69srSPgkoOX4hhnEdtIT37GDxoCkyMQAvD_BwE Endometriosis care needs urgent improvement, MPs say: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54513072 Endometriosis showed me we need better ways to talk about women's pain: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/22/endometriosis-women-pain-diagnosis-report-mps?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other 'A lot of doctors fail to recognise it': Calls for government to review treatment of endometriosis': https://www.thejournal.ie/endometriosis-working-group-4840562-Oct2019/ Additional 'Endometriosis and Being a Trans Person: Beyond Gendered Reproductive Health' http://www.hormonesmatter.com/endometriosis-transgender-beyond-gendered-reproductive-health/
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    Created by Jennifer Hughes Picture
  • Urgent Support for Trans Communities
    Since the start of 2018, no new patients have been seen in the Northern Ireland adult gender identity clinic. There are now over 400 on the waiting list, some of whom have been on this list for over 4 years. While a review of these services was commissioned late last year, progress has been slow, and the Department and HSCB have been unwilling to meaningfully include and consult with trans communities. As a result, the majority of trans people in Northern Ireland who are currently accessing gender affirming care are doing so through private services, including those in England and further afield, or through self-medication. Those who self-medicate have been doing so to reduce the harm that is being done to them by the failure of statutory services to provide support and care while this review is ongoing and in the two years before it was commissioned. There is a mental health crisis in trans communities; while trans-led support groups and advocacy organisations are doing our best to support our communities, these groups are chronically under-funded and under-staffed. There is an urgent need for statutory services to step up and provide support to trans communities who have waited years for action.
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    Created by Transgender NI Picture
  • Reinstate Spike Island Workers
    Having lobbied for safe working conditions during a global pandemic and being unsuccessful, the workers' trade union, Unite, took on Spike Island management and won basic toilet and sanitation rights that had been shamefully denied to the workers for years. They have now been dismissed from their employment at the Kiosk on Kennedy Pier which is a blatant form of victimisation. No worker should suffer for standing up for their rights. #SupportSpikeWorkers
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    Created by Unite the Union Picture
  • Lift Maternity Restrictions in NI
    We believe that the restrictions currently in place due to the Covid outbreak are not necessary, not based on scientific evidence, are disrespecting human rights and are not proportionate to achieve the objective of limiting the spread of the virus. We are concerned about Birth and Perinatal Trauma and the long term Mental Health issues that these restrictions are causing/will cause.
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    Created by Meabh McGrotty
  • Amend the Harassment & Harmful Communications Bill
    The bill was categorised by the Law Reform Commission in 2016 after focus groups of young teens identified it as a privacy issue. However on greater examination it is clear that this should fall under sexual violence laws. It is important that people who engage in image based crime should face serious implications for sharing inappropriate images without consent. Also it is important that judges and barristers should understand the full impact on victims lives from the sharing of these images, and be trained up to deal with what is a reasonably new crime, with the age of smart phones and widespread internet access.
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    Created by Linda Hayden
  • Cancel Enda Kenny's railway series
    Politics is not entertainment and it's completely inappropriate for the state broadcaster to give a vanity series like this to a former Taoiseach and to promote the Fine Gael party who are in government. How many working in the arts are in need of a job? RTÉ should not be a retirement home for elderly men on multiple pensions; a man who arguably turned this country into a train wreck and did nothing for the railways. Enda also apparently knew about the Golfgate dinner & played golf on the day, but didn't inform anyone. There's no such thing as an innocent bystander. Cancel this! #golfgate #endakenny #ethics
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    Created by Norma Burke Picture
  • Tackle Human Trafficking NOT Consenting Sex Workers.
    The review of this legislation is accepting submissions until September 11th 2020. The Criminal Justice Act 2017 Part 4 was put in place after lobbying by individuals and groups, some of whom were founded by and still have members of religious orders who ran Magdalene Laundries in their organisations, who believe all sex work is exploitation. This is not the case. This stance means ALL sex workers are being classified as exploited which in turn is distracting efforts from identifying real human trafficking victims. Human trafficking victims exist in many industries in Ireland including agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and many more. Child trafficking is also a problem in Ireland. Yet, we are targeting consenting sex workers. The belief was that the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services would end the demand for sexual services. This has not come into fruition. Ireland has been downgraded to Tier Two Watch List in the latest Trafficking in Persons Report and there have been NO PROSECUTIONS for human trafficking in Ireland EVER. Consensual sex workers exist in Ireland and will always exist in Ireland. This legislation has unfairly targeted their earnings, their safety and their autonomy rather than tackling human traffickers. These people and organisations have had very little communication with sex workers or experience in investigating cases of sex trafficking or other forms of human trafficking. This means there are victims of trafficking who are not even being looked for. This law has cut the flow of information to Gardaí from sex workers about real trafficking victims and children being requested for exploitation. Not only that but violence against sex workers has increased to dangerous levels because clients are afraid to get caught and sex workers are stigmatised to the point where abuse is deemed a natural part of their work - which should never be the case. Nicer clients have been scared away by the illegality of purchasing of sexual services and many who are still buying sex are the ones who take risks, putting sex workers in Ireland in serious danger. Sex workers report more issues with clients regarding safe sex. Sex workers in Ireland are not legally allowed to work together for safety under Ireland ‘Brothel Keeping’ legislation so they do not even have that comfort. To make buying sex illegal On top of the Brothel Keeping legislation, without first ensuring sex workers have access to social services and housing and all the other things they need to survive is horrific. For these reasons we are demanding an end to the Criminal Justice Act Section 27 part 4! TACKLE HUMAN TRAFFICKERS NOT WORKING PEOPLE!
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    Created by Emma-Jane Dempsey
  • Appoint a Senior Minister for Women and Equalities
    A long-term solution to remove systemic blocks to equality, for Women, girls and minorities in Ireland, is needed. The UK, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark and Canada have a Minister for Women or similar. It is time for the Irish government to consider a Minister for Women, like other countries. A Minister for Women and Equalities would need to do the job full-time, with enough resources, time and authority to do the work. A Minister for Women could look at systemic, policy blocks to equal opportunities in employment, education, housing and other areas for all people in Ireland, regardless of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, socioeconomic status and membership of the Traveller community. Enquires Twitter: @zoehealy3
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    Created by Zoe Obeimhen
  • Save Cavan Midwifery Led Unit (MLU)
    A still unknown decision has led to the MLU in Cavan being effectively closed in all but name under the guise of a merger with the consultant-led unit. This may be the third time Cavan MLU has faced closure and the pregnant people in the area have faced limitation of their care choices. The effective closure of the Midwifery-Led Unit on Monday 1st of June 2020 and the manner in which this decision has been taken, with no public consultation or formal announcement from either Cavan General Hospital or the RSCI group, who we understand are leading of this decision, shows a clear lack of understanding to the needs of those in the surrounding area. The claim that it is not a downgrading of service provision is simply false. For all who have accessed the MLU, either as a service user, healthcare professional or student, this closure will have significant impact on practice and care provision. To our knowledge, no rationale has been given to explain the decision. National and international evidence supports the expansion of midwifery led services. Closure of the unit limits choices for pregnancy care in direct opposition of this evidence. We cannot emphasise strongly enough 1. The retrograde nature of this decision which flies in the face of all the international evidence on best birth practices 2. And which spells the death knell of the 2016 Maternity Strategy which was specifically committed to the expansion of MLUs, not their closure Our model of maternity care relies on the majority of women going through a system of GP referral to an obstetric unit or maternity hospital. Despite the National Maternity Strategy, the dominant model of care across all our 19 maternity units is a consultant-led model of care. We have only the two midwifery-led units in Ireland (Cavan and Drogheda) and midwifery clinics across the maternity system are far too few. -- In international terms, our model of maternity care does not offer women choice of models of maternity care, something the National Maternity Strategy acknowledges clearly. Indeed, the Irish model of maternity care is at odds with best international evidence on the effectiveness of models of maternity care - The 2016 National Maternity Strategy, called for many more MLUs to be built. Instead this has not only been completely stalled - its implementation committee has met only four times up to 2019 (PQ 14615-19; PQ 14616) and the budget of the strategy has been slashed - The HIQA maternity report (February 2020) highlighted the lack of progress in supported care pathways under the National Maternity Strategy The 2003 Hanly Report on medical staffing with its overall aim of increasing still further centralisation of all hospital services continues to cast a shadow over the relevance of the small Cavan MLU – which has never had the full support of senior clinical and management staff in Cavan. If it had, it would be used to capacity and would not now be ‘merged’ with the consultant-led services. Who is affected? *this is not an exhaustive list of affected groups* Pregnant people are entitled to choice in care provision. There is no evidence at present to show that this has been supported or considered in the move to close the Cavan MLU. We hope to hear from service users to determine what plans are in place for those currently booked in the unit, those who were potentially being transferred back to the service following obstetric assessment, and those who had previously or planned to access midwifery led care in Cavan. Supporting practitioners in the Cavan/Monaghan area to continue the provision of Midwifery Led Care is vital. Evidence of support and solutions offered thus far to the midwives within the unit is needed so that as a national community of professionals and experts in normal pregnancy care can come together to save Cavan MLU. Midwives are the experts in providing pregnancy care and a wealth of evidence supports this model, referred to as “supported care” in the Maternity Strategy. Student midwives who began their training from 2018 in Dundalk Institute of Technology must complete Midwifery Led Unit placement experience as a core area, a change from its specialist area status before 2018. This reflects the importance of midwifery led care experience in well rounded learning. If Cavan MLU were to close, students would be limited to the Drogheda MLU to achieve the hours in order to qualify and register as midwives. It is already difficult for these MLU hours to be achieved between two units with the number of students requiring the necessary time in midwifery led services. The limitations that this closure will place on students has immediate and long-term consequences. Students in the 2019 cohort were due to attend Cavan MLU for placement in March/April and must make up this time due to COVID19. These students are now in limbo regarding completing these hours and gaining critical core learning experience. USEFUL LINKS; National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026 >> https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/0ac5a8-national-maternity-strategy-creating-a-better-future-together-2016-2/ HIQA Maternity Services report February 2020 >> https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/2020-02/Maternity-Overview-Report.pdf HSE / TCD 2009 MidU study >> https://nursing-midwifery.tcd.ie/assets/publications/pdf/midu-report.pdf Association for Improvements in the Maternity Service Ireland - Midwifery Led Care information >> http://aimsireland.ie/midwife-led-care/#:~:text=Midwife%2Dled%20services%20for%20eligible,further%20attention%20 AIMSI “What Matters to You” Survey 2014/2015 >> http://aimsireland.ie/care-choices/ Bump2Babe – Cavan General Hospital survey answers CLU >> http://www.bump2babe.ie/all-answers/unit/0/ MLU >> http://www.bump2babe.ie/all-answers/unit/1/
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    Created by Laura Henry
  • Let Them In -3rd level places for all Leaving Cert students
    Everyone no matter what their circumstance or chance of birth deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Education is a powerful tool against poverty and inequality for both the individual who can access it and the generations after them. The current Covid19 pandemic poses an unique opportunity to change the entry process to 3rd level education in Ireland and let everyone who wants to be in education in. This petition is inspired by RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy using his platform to promote the importance of equal access to education throughout his life such as his campaign 'Let Them In' 40 years ago. If not now then when? LET THEM IN
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    Created by Grace Costigan
  • Allow Remote Abortion Provision in NI
    In the next 13 weeks as the pandemic reaches its peak, hundreds of women and pregnant people in Northern Ireland will need an early medical abortion. The government must ensure that both patients and medical staff are not placed at unnecessary risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all being asked to stay at home for the safety of the whole country. It is unacceptable that the health of patients and healthcare workers in NI will be put at risk by enforcing unnecessary travel to clinic appointments. We know that there is the capacity to provide a telemedicine in NI immediately. Millions of women around the world have successfully used abortion pills, which the World Health Organisation states are a safe and effective means of early medical abortion. Additionally other governments have recognised the need for abortion care at home during this crisis. Failure to provide a telemedicine service will leave many women and pregnant people unable to access essential abortion care and may lead them to other unsafe means. It will also place unnecessary strain on healthcare services and put staff in danger during an already extremely difficult time. We are calling on the NI Health Minister to; (1) introduce remote consultations for abortion and no criminalisation for any nurse, midwife or doctor who provides remote abortion care during this emergency (2) allow patients to take both abortion medications in the safety of their own home (3) recognise there is no safe way to access abortion care in England during the crisis
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    Created by Alliance for Choice Northern Ireland Picture
  • Introduce remote consultations for abortion during covid-19
    Both the Abortion Rights Campaign and the Government want to keep people safe during this emergency. It is in all of our interest to minimise the strain on our healthcare system and to prevent people who are not sick from coming into contact with those who are. Remote consultation is already in use in Ireland by, for example, VideoDoc and Spectrum Health, and more recently, by individual GPs as they adapt to the current crisis. Providing abortion consultations remotely has proven safe, effective, and acceptable in other jurisdictions. We urge the Minister for Health to clarify that an in-person visit is not required in order to satisfy the Act and put appropriate protocols in place. We urge the Minister for Justice to assure doctors they will not be prosecuted if they offer medical abortion remotely at this time. Sign the petition and let the Government know you support those who need to access abortion services, healthcare workers and all those working in the health sector.
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    Created by Abortion Rights Campaign