Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Gender inequality 'rife' in Ireland

Gender inequality remains a serious problem in Ireland, the CSO report said

Women in Ireland work less, earn less, live longer and are more likely to suffer depression than men, a report has revealed.

Men, on the other hand, are over-represented in the Dail and Seanad, are more likely to be unemployed and suffer from higher rates of alcoholism, schizophrenia and criminality.

The report, by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), also revealed that the rate of men who had left school early was almost twice that of women.

In 2007, a woman's wage was on average about two-thirds of a man's and after taking into account the longer hours put in by men, the hourly rate for women's wages is about 87% of men's.

Craft jobs showed the least gender balance with men filling 96% of roles in the sector.

The CSO's life and death statistics also threw up some startling figures including. In 2006, women were on average living until 81-and-a-half, almost five years longer than men. Men were revealed as being more likely to die younger with 15 to 24-year-olds at particularly high risk from suicide and car accidents.

In school, girls were more likely to take English, Irish and French at higher level while boys focussed more on technical subjects. The pattern carried on into third level colleges and universities as men account for 84% of engineering, manufacturing and construction graduates and 60% in science graduates, while 79 per cent of health and 76% of education graduates were women.

The lack of women in high-profile and front-line decision making roles was also highlighted. Only 22 seats in the Dail are filled by women - a 14% rate ranking Ireland 23rd in Europe for women in parliament. Women only make up a third of the posts on state boards, 17% of council seats and 12% of positions on regional authorities.

In population terms Ireland was in a unique position in Europe in 2008 - the only country perfectly gender-balanced, with one women for every man.

The report warned the overall figures masked differences in age groups with more boys being born than girls and women living longer - in the 65 and over age group, there were 80 men for 100 women.

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