Equality and Human Rights

I am seeking equality proofing of social and economic policies and am working to support a rights-based approach to health, housing and education and legislation to ensure equality of access to these services.

I am continuing to advocate for equality between women and men and for the closing of the pay and pension gap, quality affordable childcare, resources to tackle violence against women, and repeal of the 8th Amendment. I am working to promote equality of representation in all areas of national life, including arts, sport, STEM and our educational institutions.  

Related Stories

Failure to address glaring inequality on pensions in Budget 2018 is indefensible - Government must face up to its responsibilities towards older women

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins seeks special debate on gender and equality aspects of Budget 2018

Senator Higgins said “The failure to address this glaring inequality on pensions in Budget 2018 is indefensible, particularly given Government promises on gender and equality proofing of the budget. I am calling on Pascal Donohoe to allocate additional funds to address this before the Finance and Social Welfare Bills pass through the Oireachtas. Senator Higgins has also called for a special Seanad debate on gender and equality aspects of Budget 2018, in particular the failure to address the glaring pension inequality within the contributory state pension system.

Amended Bill Sets Out Pathway to Long Overdue Open Adoption in Ireland

“Open adoption allows for more honest and compassionate recognition of the complexity of many family situations,” says Senator Alice Mary Higgins.

The Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 passed through the final stages of the Dáil this evening, Thursday 13th July 2017. This Bill, which contains a number of progressive proposals on adoption, also contains a ground-breaking amendment brought in by Senator Alice-Mary Higgins in the Seanad.

Seanad amendment opens up long-overdue pathway to open adoption in Ireland

Many countries across the world have long seen open or semi-open adoption as an important option within any modern adoption system. However, Ireland has, to date, only ever allowed for closed adoption in which there are no formal or recognised ongoing connections between a new adoptive family, a birth parent and a child who is adopted.
Barnardos, the Care Leavers Network and many other advocacy groups and experts have long called for change in this area and it seems now that change may finally become possible.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins joins demonstration demanding the ratification of the UNCRPD

The Irish government signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in March 2007. Ten years later, the government still hasn't ratified this convention. I joined the crowds outside Leinster House to demand no more delays to the ratification of this convention. The incredible Joanne O'Riordan delivered a very powerful speech calling on Ireland to ratify the convention and to deliver equal rights for people living with a disability here. 

I continue to work with my colleague in the Civil Engagement Group, Senator John Dolan of the Disability Federation of Ireland to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities in the Seanad.