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These are the main differences between men and women in Irish society

Irish women are also the most fertile in Europe, a new report notes, while men are more likely to be imprisoned.
Jul 29th 2014, 12:38 PM 45,367 47

IRISH MEN ARE more likely to leave school early, commit a murder, or be unemployed, a new report shows, while Irish women earn less and are unlikely to hold a seat of power.

A special report from the CSO, Women and Men in Ireland 2013, has analysed areas of Irish society ranging from education to crime to see which gender dominates.

It notes that Ireland is ninth in the EU27 for gender equality, slightly above the EU average with a score of 55.2.


The one gender-specific factor in which Ireland stands out, the report notes, is fertility – Irish women are the most fertile in the European Union, joint first with France.

Women are also still overwhelmingly more likely (98%) to be a stay-at-home parent.

Just more than 80% of the Irish prison population is male, while men are also more likely to be a victim of murder of manslaughter.

When it comes to holding positions of power, Ireland is more than 10% below the EU average for female representation in national parliament, with just less than 16% of TDs are female.


Both genders experienced a dramatic fall in employment rates in 2009.

For men, there has been a slight improvement with rates increasing 3.3% from a low of 62.4% in 2012, but the rate for women has increased just 0.7% in the same period.

And once they are in employment, women are likely to receive about a quarter less pay, while men are likely to both work and earn more.

The sectors of choice for men are construction, agriculture, and transport, and for women are health and education.

Although 85% of primary-level teachers are female and 68% at second-level, men are still more likely to hold senior positions.

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If they can’t get work, there’s always the option of emigration, in which there is little difference between the two genders.

When it comes to the Leaving Certificate, the subjects where more boys than girls sat higher level were

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Construction studies
  • Design and communication graphics
  • Engineering

The subjects in which girls excelled were:

  • English
  • French
  • Irish
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Art
  • Home Economics
  • Music

Women are also generally better educated than men.

“Over half (55.3%) of women aged 25-34 having a third-level qualification in 2013 compared to just 42.7% of men in this age group,” the report read, and noted that the “early school leavers’ rate among women aged 18-24 in 2012 was 8.2% which was lower than the rate of 11.2% for men”.

Read: Women ‘talent bank’ to improve gender balance on state boards >

More: Men “hit harder than women by unemployment during recession” >

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Nicky Ryan


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