No gender equality until we recognise and support Care, Commission says as Gender Care Campaign is Launched

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) has today launched a significant national awareness campaign entitled Care About Equality. This is the third in the “Because we’re all human/ Means we’re all equal” series of campaigns.

While previous campaigns focussed on attitudes to racism and disability, Care About Equality challenges entrenched societal attitudes towards the heavily gendered nature of caring, both unpaid and low-paid, and how this impacts on women in the workplace.

The non–scripted national campaign will run throughout January across TV, radio, social and digital advertising from today, Friday 6th January, Nollaig na mBán. It features interviews with women from different backgrounds sharing personal perspectives on how gender inequality and care work impacts on their daily lives, their career potential and their futures.

The campaign seeks to empower people to recognise and challenge everyday and structural sexism in the home and workplace, exposing the invisibility of the value of care in society and the resultant gender inequalities.

Participants in the campaign said:

“Care is not ‘a women’s issue’. Care is an ‘everybody issue’. We’re all going to face care responsibilities from cradle to grave. We need to accept that and we need to support that by having systems and structures in place for people, rather than relying on the fact that women are going to do it ‘just because’. Linda K.

“So much of our work as people who care for others is unpaid. And when it’s put into a professional environment it’s underpaid. What it’s actually saying about us is that we don’t care. We don’t care because we pay the people who care, who do that work, so incredibly little.” Ailbhe S.

Chief Commissioner Sinéad Gibney said:

One thing we all have in common – women, men, young, old – is that we need to be cared by others at certain periods in our lives. Care is vital to our survival, both as individuals and as a society. It is not an exaggeration to say that our society and economy as we know them would collapse without the care work provided by women.

“How society treats care is central to equality. By allowing it to remain undervalued, means we are consciously saying that the time and caring investment of half of the population is not valued equally.  And, by extension, that women are not valued equally.

“If we are serious about human rights and equality, Ireland must find a new relationship between paid employment, care and gender roles, underpinned by measures to support employed parents and other carers.”


Photos of the Care About Equality Campaign will be syndicated by Fennels on January 5th for use January 6th.

The TV ads are available here:



The campaign webpage is available here:

Campaign Participants

Campaign Consultative Group

With thanks to the following consultative group members who contributed to the development of this campaign:

Bridget Kelly, Claire Duffy, Colm Kelly Ryan, Dr. Rosaleen McDonagh, Karen Kiernan, Mariaam Bhatti, Orla O’Connor, Ursula Barry, Síona Cahill and Suzy Byrne.

This campaign was created by Language Advertising and Design Agency

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Clarkin, IHREC Communications Manager,
01 852 9641 / 087 468 7760

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s independent National Human Rights Institution and National Equality Body, and is the designated independent monitor of Ireland’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD.)