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Low pay is disproportionately affecting women workers – Ní Riada

15 March, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the focus on women workers in the Nevin Economic Research Institute's (NERI) Quarterly Economic Observer, which was published today. The report examines economic activity and outlook for the whole of Ireland, and this quarter has paid particular attention to women workers.

Commenting on the report Liadh Ní Riada said:

“The focus by the NERI on the situation of women workers is timely and appropriate. The gender pay gap continues to exist in Ireland and this research explores the nature of the disparity.

“Sixty percent of all low paid workers are women. Almost three in every ten female workers are low paid, compared to a factor of two in ten male workers. The majority of low paid women work in three employment sectors; wholesale and retail, accommodation and food, and health and social work.

“Jobs that have been typically dominated by women tend to be low paid, despite their importance to the economy and to society as a whole, for example health, social and care work, and administration and support services.

“Added to the difficulty experienced by women in securing decent pay and equality in the workplace, is the disproportionate impact of low-hour and temporary contracts on low paid female workers. The research shows that while one in four women on a permanent contract is low paid, half of all women on temporary contracts are low paid.

“Sinn Féin has proposed practical solutions for addressing the gender pay gap in Ireland. We agree with the National Women's Council of Ireland that if we wish to bridge the divide between men and women's pay we need to increase the incomes of low paid workers, increase the supply of affordable and quality childcare, and advocate for a fairer haring of caring work between women and men.

“Sinn Fein have campaigned for an increase to minimum wage, for a move towards the introduction of a living wage, for legislation to tackle low-hours contracts, for robust trade union rights, and for increased supply of affordable childcare. We will use our mandate in Brussels and Leinster House to continue campaigning for fairness and equality at work.”



Liadh Ní Riada is the Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland’s South constituency, and sits on the European Parliament’s Budgets, Culture and Education, and Fisheries Committees. 

The Nevin Economic Research Institute today published their Quarterly Economic Observer, which can be accessed online at

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