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Due to changes in legislation on maternity, adoptive leave, parental leave, the development of a Child care infrastructure have resulted in a narrowing of the gap between women and men in the labour market: however, employment rates for women with children in Ireland remain one of the lowest among OECD countries. More reforms of after-school child care, taxation and child support are needed to encourage and retain more women in the workforce.
The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.
The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.
In the Social Institutions and Gender Index 2014 Edition , Ireland was not classified in the SIGI due to lack of full dataset. It has lower discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets and higher discrimination in restricted civil liberties. Read the full country profile and access the data here: http://www.genderindex.org/country/ireland
Ireland has been a member of CEDAW since 1985. The 1998 Employment Equality Act outlaws discrimination in relation to employment. The Act covers discrimination in relation to access to employment, conditions of employment, equal pay for work of equal value, promotion, training and work experience. The 2000 Equal Status Act gives protection against discrimination in non-workplace areas and complements the Employment Equality Act 1998.
The NDP Gender Equality Unit, established in 2000, provides a support and advisory service to the government on mainstreaming equality between women and men (gender mainstreaming).
Young women are much more likely than their mothers to be working or looking for a job. The participation rate of younger women (those aged 25 to 34) has increased from 30% in 1975 to 76% in 2004. In contrast, only a third of women aged 55 to 64 have a job, not only because of social attitudes but also because their education levels are comparatively poor. Even so, participation by the younger cohorts is still below the OECD average. In addition, there is a striking difference in labour market participation between women with and without children. Among women aged 25-54 who have two or more children below age 16, the full-time employment rate is only 22% – one of the lowest in the OECD.
In 2004, Ireland had the eighth lowest proportion of women in parliament of the twenty-five EU member states, at 13.3% (compared to Sweden which is the closest to equality with 45.3% and the EU average which is 22.1%). In 2004, around 14% of regional authority members and 17% of local authority members were women. Around 59% of women in the Civil Service were clerical officers as compared with only 10% of Assistant Secretaries.
- CEDAW, Combined Fourth and Fifth Country Reports: Ireland (2005)
- B. Cournède, “Removing obstacles to employment for women in Ireland”, OECD Economics Department Working Papers no. 511
The Women, Business and the Law
Where are laws equal for men and women?
The Women, Business and the Law, 2012 presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women’s economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court.Read more about the methodology.