Implementation of central concepts

AuthorFrances Meenan
3 Implementation of central concepts
3.1 General (legal) context
3.1.1 Surveys on the definition, implementation and limit s of central concepts of gender
equality law
There are no surveys concerning the definition, implementation and limits of the concepts.
The limits of g ender equality law and more particularly in respect of equal pay is the
binary nature of the concept in that a complainant must have a comparator of the opposite
sex in order to proceed with an equal pay claim.
In a recent survey, women are almost twice as likely as men to report discrimination in
the workplace. Discrimination on pay and promotion were more frequently mentioned,
which is consistent with evidence of the gender pay gap and low female representation in
the most senior positions in the Irish labour market.14
3.1.2 Other issues
The implementation of legislation for the gender pay gap is awaited. Th e Gender Pay Gap
Information Bill 2019 was published in April 2019. As of year-end 2019, it has not yet
been passed through the Oireachtas (parliament).
3.1.3 General overview of national acts
The various Acts prohibiting discrimination and promoting equality (where appli cable)
transpose the Directives. In addition, there is now a move towards positive action in regard
to having a higher representation of women in the higher educa tion sector at professorial
level and also in the civil service.
3.1.4 Political and societal debate and pending legislative proposals
The Central Statistics Office Report entitled Women and Men in Ireland 201915 stated that
out of a total population of 4 857 000, 2 405 800 are men and 2 451 300 are women. The
employment rate of women was 63.7 % and men 74.6 %. The Report stated th at:
- Irish women are more likely to have a third-level qualification than men, with ov er
half (55.9 %) of women aged 25-34 having a third-level qualification compa red to
just 52.5 % of men in this age group.
- Men work longer hours than women in paid employment. Men worked an average of
40.1 hours a week in paid employment compared to 32.3 hours for wom en.
- Men have a higher rate of employment. The male employment rate was 74.6 % and
the female rate being 63.7 %.
- Men also have a higher rate of unemployment with a rate of 5.6 % which was above
the rate of 5.2 % for women.
- Just over one in three women work in the health or education sect ors.
- Most workers in the Health and the Education sectors were women, whi le most
workers in Agriculture, Construction and Transport were men.
- Irish women have a fertility rate of 1.77 (measured in 2017).
- The vast majority (98 %) of those who were looking after home/family in 2016 were
14 McGinnity, F. et al, ‘Who Experiences Discrimination in Ireland – Evidence from the QNHS Equality Modules’
(2017) IHREC and ESRI para. 5.2

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