Gay rights groups launch campaign for adverts to stop gender discrimination
BACKGROUND: The Equality Network, which promotes equality and human rights in Ireland, is launching a campaign to stop the gender discrimination in advertising and online services that has resulted in gender-based discrimination.
The Equality Network will be running ads in the Irish Times, The Irish Times Digital and other print and online newspapers, including The Irish Independent and The Irish Mail.
It will also be running a gender-neutral advert in the online edition of The Irish News.
The campaign is part of an effort by Equality Network members to address discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Irish society, with the aim of preventing it from occurring in the first place.
It comes after a number of organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Human Rights Campaign, have warned about the effects of gender discrimination on LGBT people.
“Gender discrimination is an issue that affects all of us.
This campaign aims to help those who are discriminated against to understand that they have a right to be heard, and that they can speak up,” said Emma Kelly, who is leading the campaign.”
We are here to talk about what we see as the effects on people of discrimination, and how we can fight back to protect equality for everyone.”
The Equality network is running a campaign in the UK in support of gay rights.
Last month, the Equality Network received a letter from the Equality Commission in Ireland which asked for an inquiry into gender discrimination.
The Equality Commission is an independent authority and is mandated to provide an independent assessment of discrimination and the treatment of individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The letter, signed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, warned that gender discrimination and homophobia are continuing to be the primary factors in the lives of LGBT people in Ireland.
It also warned that discrimination against the LGBT community is not just in the context of employment, housing, access to social services, and access to employment, it is also the primary factor in the experiences of transgender people.
The EHRC also warned against using the term ‘gender identity’ when referring to the transgender community.
“Transgender people do not fall under the category of ‘gender’ or ‘sexual orientation’, they are a unique identity group that can be identified by a combination of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression,” the letter read.
The report concluded that while transgender people are often misunderstood and mistreated by society, the discrimination that they experience can be prevented by changing the way we view them.
“The commission recognises that discrimination of this nature is unacceptable and will be of utmost concern to anyone who works in or lives in an organisation with an interest in ensuring equality for the LGBT+ community in Ireland,” it added.
The Irish Times has reported that a number ads in recent months have targeted gay and transgender people, claiming they have no business in the paper.
A spokeswoman for the Times said: “We have always been clear that we have no policies or practices of discrimination.
We do not discriminate on the grounds of sexual preference, gender or any other identity, but do not have policies or practice of gender or sexuality.
We continue to believe in diversity and inclusion and believe that every individual deserves equal treatment.”
The Irish Mail said that it is “aware of the reports” and has taken the necessary action to ensure that it does not perpetuate discrimination against gay and trans people.