THERE HAS BEEN much talk of gender balance in Irish politics in the past week, including the Greens’ Mary White calling for an all-women politician debate.
The latest release from the Central Statistics Office, the Women and Men in Ireland report for 2010, found that concerns for gender imbalance is not just found in the political sphere.
The report, the main points of which are published here, states that the “vast majority” of those looking after the home and family dependents are women. It adds that women are “under-represented” in local and regional authorities and in national politics. On the other hand, more women than men work in the health and education sectors.
However, there are also some sobering statistics in the report relating to men. Men on average leave school at an earlier age and women in general tend to attain a higher level of educational qualification. The report also adds that:
More men are emigrating and men are more likely to die young. The prison population is overwhelmingly male and most murder victims are male.
Some of the findings of the report include:
- Education - Women are more likely to have a third-level education qualification. Over 52 per cent of women between the ages of 25-34 have one, compared to 39 per cent of men aged 25-34.
- Unemployment - Young men are hit badly here with 32.9 per cent of men aged 20-24 while 18.7 per cent of women of that age group are out of work.
- Decision-making – The average representation of women in national parliaments in EU countries is nearly 25 per cent. In Ireland it is 14 per cent.
- Emigration - While 9,400 women left the country in 2010, the number of men leaving in 2010 was 25,100.
- Mortality – Life expectancy for women, at 81.6 years, is five years higher than for men (at 76.8 years). More men die in road accidents and by suicide than women. Women are more likely to attend hospital at some point, although one sixth of these stays are related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- Income - The amount of money earned by Irish women in total (the figures are from 2008) is around 70 per cent of the total earned by men. However, after adjusting for the hours worked by each gender in the workplace, women’s hourly earnings are about 90 per cent of what men earn per hour.