We won’t achieve gender equality, until we recognise the importance of care, Commission conference to hear

It is not possible to address persistent inequality between women and men without understanding the importance of care. This is a core message from a conference being held today in Croke Park by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’), “Achieving Gender Equality At Work Care Policy and Practice”.

Focussing on how to achieve gender equality in work, the conference will highlight how we treat care as a society is central to these conversations.

The fact that women do far more care and care work, paid and unpaid, than men plays a significant part in women’s lower economic status. On average, women are paid less than men, and are vastly underrepresented in senior-decision making positions. The labour market and many workplaces remain less than accommodating to women and families who are trying to combine work and family commitments.

The failure of our policies to give visibility, value, and support to care work has impacts on all women, but like everything, it is disproportionately felt by marginalised women and families more.

The voices and experiences of migrant women, or Traveller women, of lone parents and of disabled women, in particular, are an important voice at the conference.

Ireland can and must find a new relationship between paid employment, care and gender roles, underpinned by measures to support employed parents and other carers; the Conference will show what we can do to progress the solutions to equality between women and men in our society, in the labour force, in our individual workplaces.

Sinead Gibney, Chief Commissioner said,

“For such a personal decision – often made at kitchen tables with the calculator and a payslip, or in the aftershock of a big life event – how care happens in our society is also a highly complex, broad-based, and deeply significant public policy question, with implications for society, for the economy, and for employers and workplaces.”

“We want to consider that complexity and the different types of policy response required to realise equality between women and men, recognising that there are many different and important stakeholders whose actions, collectively, will contribute to structural change.”

The full conference programme can be viewed here: https://www.ihrec.ie/app/uploads/2022/11/IHREC-Equality-at-Work_Programme_FINAL.pdf


For further information, please contact:
Sarah Clarkin, IHREC Communications Manager,
01 852 9641 / 087 468 7760
Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Editor’s Note

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.