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Impact of crisis on women "overlooked by policy makers"

Labour MEP Emer Costello said that women can find their earning power stymied during their early years, which can in turn affect their pension.

Emer Costello MEP from the Irish Labour Party.
Emer Costello MEP from the Irish Labour Party.
Image: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

THE IMPACT OF the financial crisis on women is being ignored by EU policy makers, MEP Emer Costello said today.

The Labour MEP was speaking after a Eurobarometer report on how women were affected by the crisis was discussed in the European Parliament. The report found that the crisis has made it more difficult for women to balance work and private life, and close the pay gap with men.

It also showed that those surveyed believe employers consider very different issues when employing men and women, with almost half thinking employers were most concerned about whether a woman had children.

Speaking to Karen Coleman from radioep.ie, Costello said that if women’s earning power is stymied during their early years, “then their pension entitlements are similarly reduced and that creates problems of poverty for women that are slightly older as well”.

Women are more likely to be in precarious employment; particularly in the private sector women are more likely to be in part time employment as well. This can be hugely problematic.

“There is a huge impact of the crisis that is specifically gender-related,” said Costello. “It has been very much overlooked by EU policy makers and indeed by national policy makers.”

Costello said that the EU Commission and national governments must intervene strategically to redress this imbalance.

Listen to Emer Costello speaking about these issues by clicking here (MP3).

Read: Minister says gender equality crucial to reshaping society and economic recovery>

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