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Irish women better qualified than men

Tuesday, July 29 11:20:14

Irish women are better educated and better qualified than men but are more likely to be unemployed and are significantly under-represented in decision-making structures.

Latest figures from the CSO found that more than half of women aged between 25 and 35 have a third-level qualification compared with just over four out of ten men, according to the report Women and Men in Ireland 2013, published by the CSO today. Men work longer hours than women in paid employment.

Irish women, along with women from France, have the joint highest fertility rate in the EU. Boys are more likely to leave school early. Men have a higher rate of employment but also a higher rate of unemployment. Men are more likely to be in the labour force and those looking after home/family are overwhelmingly female. Most workers in the Health and Education sectors are women while most workers in Agriculture, Construction and Transport are men. Most murder victims are male and the vast majority of the prison population is male. Ireland is the ninth highest among EU27 countries for gender equality. Employment: The employment rate for men in Ireland stood at about 76pc in recent years but in 2009 it dropped sharply to 66.8pc and continued to decrease over the next three years to reach 62.4pc by 2012. However in 2013 there was an increase in the male employment rate to 64.6pc followed by another rise in 2014 to 65.7pc. The female employment rate reached 60.6pc in 2007 before dropping to 57.6pc in 2009 and it continued to decrease over the next three years to stand at 55.2pc by 2012. The last 2 years have seen a small rise in the female employment rate to 55.9pc in 2014.

Men worked an average of 39.2 hours a week in paid employment in 2013 compared to 31.2 hours for women and married men worked longer hours than married women, with close to half of married men (44.1pc) working for 40 hours a week or more compared to just 16.8pc of married women. The unemployment rate for men in Ireland was about 5pc in recent years but in 2009 it increased dramatically to 15.3pc, followed by further rises over the following three years to reach 18.1pc by 2012. There was a drop in the male unemployment rate in 2013 to 15.9pc and another decrease in 2014 to 13.8pc. The female unemployment rate, which stood at about 4pc in recent years, also increased strongly to 8.3pc in 2009 and continued to rise over the next four years to reach 11.4pc in 2013. However the female rate of unemployment decreased in 2014 to 9.9pc.

The early school leavers' rate among women aged 18-24 in 2012 was 8.2pc which was lower than the rate of 11.2pc for men. In 2013 more girls than boys sat higher level papers in the Leaving Certificate exams in English, French, Irish, Biology, Chemistry, Art, Home Economics and Music. More boys than girls took the higher level papers in Mathematics, Physics, Construction studies, Design and communication graphics and Engineering. The vast majority (85pc) of graduates in engineering, manufacturing and construction in 2012 were male while over three-quarters of graduates in the education, health and welfare sectors were female. Women are more likely to have a third-level qualification, with over half (55.3pc) of women aged 25-34 having a third-level qualification in 2013 compared to just 42.7pc of men in this age group.

Women are significantly under-represented in decision-making structures in Ireland at both national and regional levels. In 2013 only 15.7pc of TDs in Dail Eireann were women and they accounted for less than a fifth of members of local authorities and just over a third of the membership of Vocational Education Committees. The average female representation in national parliaments in the EU was 27.5pc in 2013.

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