15 September 2005 Edition

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News from Strasbourg In Brief

Lack of knowledge on Constitution

An EU Barometer poll released this week revealed that 62% of people in the 26 Counties are unaware of the contents of the European Constitution. The last poll in February 2005 revealed that 67% of respondents 'didn't know' whether they would support the EU Constitution or not. Preliminary findings from that poll also indicated that nearly 50% of Irish people were not even aware of the existence of the EU Constitution. This latest survey clearly shows that people are still none the wiser on the issue.

Health and gender report defeated

The report by Eva-Britt Svensson MEP on Gender Inequalities in Health Systems‚ was voted down by a number of MEPs. This was particularly disappointing since the report had a number of practical and progressive recommendations for addressing gender inequality in health.

Sakharov nominations

The GUE/NGL group has nominated a Pakistani woman for the Sakharov Prize. Other nominees include the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq and Mehmet Tarhan, a gay Turkish activist who was jailed and went on hunger strike for objecting to military service in Turkey.

In June 2002, 30-year-old Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped on the orders of a council of tribal elders from her village of Meerwala, Pakistan. She had the courage to stand up and speak out against her attackers. Mai and her friends established a school for girls and work to provide young girls with the knowledge and understanding that will give them more power in the world, more awareness of their rights, and more dignity to fall back on when those rights are challenged.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1