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EWM Network and Support Event 6 th October 2011 Orla O’Connor National Women’s Council of Ireland.

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Presentation on theme: "EWM Network and Support Event 6 th October 2011 Orla O’Connor National Women’s Council of Ireland."— Presentation transcript:

1 EWM Network and Support Event 6 th October 2011 Orla O’Connor National Women’s Council of Ireland.

2 NWCI  Established in 1974  Membership based women’s organisation 160 member organisations  Our vision is of an Ireland where all women and men have equal power to shape society and their own lives. We work to promote equality and empower women.

3 Introduction A general overview of equality for women in Ireland Impact of the recession on women Policy Context for Equality for Women What’s happening at European level (what’s the EU saying etc.)

4 Women and Equality Affective Economic Social and Cultural Political

5 Affective inequality Women provide 82% of the care to adults and 86% of the care to children 70% of those in their 30’s providing care are women Childcare costs 45% of the average wage in Ireland

6 Impact of Affective Inequality Having children has almost no impact on male employment rates - 93% of men with no children are employed compared to 91% of men with children under 3yrs 57% of mothers with children under 3yrs are employed compared to 87% with no children 8 in 10 of those working part-time are women

7 Economic Inequality Structural inequality Social Welfare system – over 70,000 women dependant on their male partner for their income While over 80% of male pensioners are entitled to a State Contributory Pension based on their social insurance entitlements, less than 60% of female pensioners qualify for this payment.

8 Political Inequality In General Election 2011 just 86 of 566 candidates were women (15%) 25 of 166 of those elected were women (15%) 19% of local councillors are women

9 Impact of Recession Unemployment : Women’s unemployment has now rapidly increased. Women’s unemployment has increased by 10.1% in the last year in comparison to 6.8% for men. Poverty : Women’s Poverty has increased; consistent poverty levels increased from 4.2% to 5.5% between 2008 and 2009 while the level of deprivation of two or more items increased by almost 25% in the same period

10 Impact of Recession Lone Parents: Lone parent households reported the highest levels of deprivation with almost 63% of individuals from these households experiencing one or more forms of deprivation compared with almost 29% at state level.

11 Impact of Recession Debt: Women are struggling in families to manage household debt and reduced income. Over 24% of households are in arrears with one or more of the following items: utility bills, rent or mortgage payments, hire purchase agreements or other loans/bills. In 2009, almost 48% of households stated that they would be unable to meet an expense of €1,085 without borrowing.

12 Impact of Recession Locally Based Women’s Projects: The funding has been cut by 15% and this has reduced the level services that the organisations can provide. Some of the Women’s Networks have closed while others have been forced to cut back on staff and on services.

13 Impact of Recession Violence Against Women: In the past 3 years the domestic violence services have experienced significant cuts. In addition to this there has been over 40% increase in demand for services and this continues to grow.

14 EU Context The European Pact for Gender Equality reaffirms the importance of integrating the gender perspective into all policies and particularly urges member states to – eliminate gender stereotypes, ensure equal pay for equal work and promote the equal participation of women in decision-making; – improve the supply of affordable and high-quality childcare services and promote flexible working arrangements; – strengthen the prevention of violence against women and the protection of victims, and focus on the role of men and boys in order to eradicate violence.

15 National Context National Women’s Strategy – Review of NWS Programme for Government – Commitments to Progress Women’s Equality – Commitments requiring positive action

16 EU Context The 2010 Report of the EU Commission Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in 2010 stated that – ‘This is an even greater challenge in the current economic downturn, as many women and men might find themselves in a weaker position in the labour market which presents a greater risk of poverty, especially for women and men who belong to already vulnerable groups.. – The Committee recommends ‘Member States should renew their commitment to create more and better jobs under the successor to the Lisbon Strategy for Jobs and Growth recognising women’s employment and gender equality policies are a key factor for the growth of employment and competitiveness in the EU and a necessary contribution to respond to labour shortages and new skills needs.

17 Employment and Enterprise Barriers to Participation – Care Responsibilities and Cost of Care – Women experience unemployment different to men – Welfare to Work Issues Gender specific support strategies

18 NWCI Contact Details Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


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