Country Idealist Profiles

Ireland – Gender

Posted in Ireland, Ireland - Basics, Ireland - Demographics, Ireland - Gender by hynesbrid on July 30, 2008

National Statistics:
A gender report Women and Men in Ireland, 2007 published by the Central Statistics Office examines key differences in the lives of men and women in Ireland.

The employment rate for women in Ireland was 60.3% in the second quarter of 2007 compared with 45.9% in 1997. This rapid increase means that Ireland already exceeds the EU 2010 target of 60%. The employment rate for men was 77.2%, which was well above the average 2006 EU rate of around 71.6%.

The report shows that women are under-represented in decision-making structures at both national and regional levels. Only 13% of TDs in Dáil Eireann are women, while they account for 34% of members of State Boards, 20% of members of local authorities and just 16% of members of regional authorities.

The education and health sectors employed the highest proportion of women, with around an 80% share of the total at work in these sectors. However, women were not well represented at senior level positions. In the health service, women represented just over 30% of medical and dental consultants. Similarly, women accounted for 84.7% of primary school teachers but only 51% of primary school managers.

The early school leavers rate among women aged 18-24 in 2006 was 8.7%, which was much lower than the male rate of 14.9%. There were higher proportions of girls taking English and European languages at Leaving Certificate higher level in 2007. However, boys had higher rates of participation in technical subjects. Over 90% of Leaving Certificate students taking higher level engineering, construction studies and technical drawing examinations were male. The pattern continued at third level with men accounting for around 85% of graduates in engineering, manufacturing and construction.

Women’s income in 2005 was around two-thirds of men’s income. After adjusting for differences in hours worked, women’s hourly earnings were around 86% of men’s.

The proportion of men at risk of poverty in 2006, after pensions and social transfers, was 17.5% compared to 19.5% of women. At risk of poverty rates were considerably lower for employed men and women at 6.1% and 6.0% respectively.

Life expectancy for men was estimated as being over 4 years less than for women in 2005.

International Statistics:
The Human Development Index measures average achievements in a country, but it does not incorporate the degree of gender imbalance in these achievements. The gender-related development index (GDI), introduced in Human Development Report 1995, measures achievements in the same dimensions using the same indicators as the HDI but captures inequalities in achievement between women and men. It is simply the HDI adjusted downward for gender inequality. The greater the gender disparity in basic human development, the lower is a country’s GDI relative to its HDI.

Ireland’s GDI value, 0.940 should be compared to its HDI value of 0.959. Its GDI value is 98.0% of its HDI value. Out of the 156 countries with both HDI and GDI values, 124 countries have a better ratio than Ireland’s.

GDI as % of HDI:
1. Maldives (100.4%)
19. United Kingdom (98.5%)
107. United States (98.5%)
123. Syrian Arab Republic (98.1%)
124. Nicaragua (98.1%)
125. Ireland (98.1%)
126. Tunisia (98.0%)
127. Guatemala (97.9%)
156. Yemen (92.7%)

The gender empowerment measure (GEM) reveals whether women take an active part in economic and political life. It tracks the share of seats in parliament held by women; of female legislators, senior officials and managers; and of female professional and technical workers- and the gender disparity in earned income, reflecting economic independence. Differing from the GDI, the GEM exposes inequality in opportunities in selected areas. Ireland ranks 19th out of 93 countries in the GEM, with a value of 0.699.






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