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Gender Equality in the Irish Labour Market 1966-2016: Unfinished Business?

Author

Listed:
  • Helen Russell

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin)

  • Frances McGinnity

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin)

  • Philip J. O’Connell

    (UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin)

Abstract

This paper formed part of the conference to mark 50 years of social research at the ESRI. It provides an overview of gender equality in the labour market in Ireland over a 50-year period. It takes as its starting point two studies published by ESRI researchers in the early 1970s including a survey of women carried out in 1973. Five themes are identified in these early studies, which are then carried through to the current period. These are: patterns of female labour force participation; gender segregation; sectoral labour demand; attitudes; and appropriate policy responses. The study then outlines how many of the normative, legislative and institutional constraints to women’s employment were removed during the following decades and discusses key educational and fertility trends that influenced labour force participation. Policy responses have also shifted over the period. We find that while there has been distinct change in the normative culture, a major upward shift in the scale of female employment, and a decline in gender segregation, women’s and men’s employment remains strongly gendered.

Suggested Citation

  • Helen Russell & Frances McGinnity & Philip J. O’Connell, 2017. "Gender Equality in the Irish Labour Market 1966-2016: Unfinished Business?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 48(4), pages 393-418.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:48:y:2017:i:4:p:393-418
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    File URL: https://www.esr.ie/article/view/820/170
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Lunn, Pete & Fahey, Tony, 2011. "Households and Family Structures in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT202.
    7. Russell, Helen & McGinnity, Fran & Kingston, Gillian, 2014. "Gender and the Quality of Work: From Boom to Recession," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT264.
    8. Emer Smyth, 1999. "Educational Inequalities Among School Leavers in Ireland 1979-1994," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 30(3), pages 267-284.
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    Cited by:

    1. Irene Mosca & Robert E. Wright, 2020. "The Long-term Consequences of the Irish Marriage Bar," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 51(1), pages 1-34.
    2. Russell, Helen & Grotti, Raffaele & McGinnity, Fran & Privalko, Ivan, 2019. "Caring and unpaid work in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT382.
    3. Doorley, Karina, 2018. "Taxation, Work and Gender Equality in Ireland," IZA Discussion Papers 11495, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Russell, Helen & Maître, Bertrand & Privalko, Ivan, 2019. "The ageing workforce in Ireland: Working conditions, health and extending working lives," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS92.
    5. Russell, Helen & McGinnity, Frances & Fahey, Éamonn & Kenny, Oona, 2018. "Maternal employment and the cost of childcare in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS73.

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