Ireland ranks above EU average in gender equality

by Orla Dwyer

Image Credit: The Guardian

Ireland ranks above the EU average in gender equality according to a report published earlier this month.

The Gender Equality Index revealed that Ireland scored 69.5 out of a potential 100 while the EU average was 66.2. This ranks the country 8th in the EU based on the 2015 statistics.

“These are results from 2015.  Since then, we have continued to progress and the Programme for a Partnership Government contains significant commitments in the area of gender equality,” said Minister of State for Equality David Stanton.

The Index assesses the progress in gender equality in the EU.  It measures gender gaps across six key areas – work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. The third edition of the report, which was published on the 10 October 2017, released data for 2005, 2010, 2012 and 2015.

It showed that Ireland has a higher percentage of female graduates at third-level than male. There are 5.5% more women with third-level degrees than men.

The average number of male ministers in Ireland is 80%. This is significantly higher than the EU average of 73%.

The report also showed that 89% of women in Ireland cook/ do household chores every day while only 48% of men do the same.

“I think these figures show that while we’re doing well, there’s a lot more that needs to be done in terms of empowering women to help them run for political positions and breaking down the gender roles surrounding the household,” said chairperson of Femsoc DCU Isha McDonnell.

“Men and women need to be taught at an early age that cooking and cleaning is not just ‘a woman’s job’. Boys doing Home Ec in secondary school needs to be normalised a lot more, and women need to expect that these things are shared equally. Gender stereotypes don’t help anyone in the long run,” said McDonnell.

Sweden leads the index with a score of 82.6. The UK ranks two above Ireland with a score of 71.5. Although in 2015 Ireland ranked eighth, in 2010 it was ninth and in 2005 it was tenth.

Orla Dwyer

Image Credit: The Guardian