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Gender irrelevant when fighting for social equality

Published 26/10/2015

In response to the letter from Lynn Carville (Write Back, October 21), don't patronise us and disguise the Nipsa general secretary election as a fight for women's rights.

As Nipsa members and active feminists we are proud that our fellow Nipsa members this year voted women into the positions of president (Carmel Gates), vice-president (Janette Murdock), honorary treasurer (Tanya Killen), chair of the Civil Service group executive (Maria Morgan) and the vice-chair of the public officers group (Alanagh Rea). We did this not because they are women, but because we decided that they are the best fighters and, therefore, best suited for the positions.

To suggest that we should vote for Alison Millar simply because she is a woman is patronising and tokenistic.

Patrick Mulholland has dedicated his entire life to fighting for social equality for all, and that includes women's rights.

He does this not because it is his job (it isn't), but because he is so committed to his socialist values that not fighting would allow injustice to continue.

Patrick has spent the last 30-plus years campaigning for an equal and anti-sectarian society for all.

Throughout our time as active Nipsa members and feminists it is Patrick that we see at almost every equality protest and demonstration - from Reclaim The Night and International Women's Day to Pride and equal marriage demonstrations.

If we were to support women just because they are women, then logic would dictate that Labour Party members should have voted for Liz Kendall instead of Jeremy Corbyn.

We are very glad that Labour Party members did not vote according to gender, but voted for a fighter who will change British politics for the better.

A vote for Patrick Mulholland will have the same effect in Nipsa.

TINA CREANEY, CLARE McCONNELL, SARAH McCROSSAN and LIZ SKELCHER

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