Writing in July, I flagged four policy pillars crucial to reducing inequality in Ireland. First of these was to increase women’s participation in economic life. Far from being a women’s issue, society as a whole stands to gain from stronger growth, less inequality and an off-set to the impact of ageing on our workforce. In some jurisdictions, this has been christened ‘womenomics’.
Despite the very real advances in recent decades, the table remains tilted in men’s favour both in the Irish workplace and at home. On average, women do more housework, spend more time taking care of the kids, are less likely to be in employment and, when they are employed, they get paid less. For every 8 euro Irish men earn, mná na h’Éireann earn only 7. While nearly 7 in 10 Irish men participate in the labour force, barely 5 in 10 Irish women do.