This Government's commitment in the equality area is clear from our Programme for Government 1993-1997 and, with the appointment of a new Minister for Equality and Law Reform, we are determined to ensure that equality for all groups in our society becomes a reality. In regard to people with disabilities, the Minister for Equality and Law Reform and I met recently with representatives of the Forum of People with Disabilities, when we confirmed that representatives of people with disabilities will be represented on the new National Economic and Social Forum. In addition, the monitoring committee under the Programme for Economic and Social Progress on employment of people with disabilities will continue its work, and a Commission on Disability will be established, in consultation with interested groups. In parallel, the process of establishing a permanent Council for the Status of People with Disabilities will begin.
The Central Review Committee's area of work is determined by the provisions of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress and the agenda for any particular meeting is set by the committee itself by reference to this and the current priorities as seen by the Committee. I do not believe that it would be appropriate for me to dictate what should or should not be discussed by the Central Review Committee at a particular meeting but I will arrange to have the Deputy's question brought to the committee's attention.
The issue of gender equality raised by the Deputy was recently discussed by the CRC in the context of its preparation of a progress report which details the achievements to date under the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, including those in the area of equality and equal opportunity. This report was published by the CRC last week. It has been laid before the House and copies of it are available in the Library.