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Gender pay gap widens- Lynn Boylan MEP

18 February, 2015 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Commenting today on the CSO report, Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2013, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan said:

“Hidden among the health and education statistics, one figure stood out for me. Women are now earning over 14 percent less than men per hour.

This is in spite of the fact that more women are more likely to have a third-level qualification, thus in theory having access to potentially higher-paying jobs. In fact women are still more likely to be underemployed and on zero hour contracts.

Statistics demonstrate that in 2011 more than half a million women were looking after home/family compared with only 9,600 men.

 This made women more susceptible to suffering more under this government’s austerity measures.

 Cuts including a reduction in child benefit, public sector pay changes and other social welfare cuts including Minister Burton’s cuts to lone parent families have all adversely impacted women. These cuts were coupled with a lack of access to affordable, high quality childcare for a lot of working women.”

 The Dublin MEP continued:

 The lack of women in decision making roles has undoubtedly contributed to this scenario. In 2014 only 16.3% (27) of TDs in Dáil Éireann were women and women accounted for 20.5% of local authorities and just over a third of the membership of Vocational Education Committees.

 An issue I have been working on in Europe and one I will address at an upcoming NWCI event is the underrepresentation of women when it comes to the boards of management of Ireland’s top businesses. Irish women make up just 10.5% of board members of the largest publicly listed companies in Ireland.

With all these factors taken under consideration is it any wonder the pay gap is widening. A holistic approach is needed to tackle this issue. Starting with a gold standard childcare service, gender quotas and the implementation of a living wage and collective bargaining rights. “

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