Sunday 22 July 2018

Equality can be achieved with a healthy work-life balance - for all of us

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Stella O'Malley

The initial reaction to looking at the latest CSO figures is one of puzzlement. Women are better educated and more qualified than the men, and yet 445,500 women stay at home to look after the family and the home compared to a mere 9,200 men. Surely even the most sexist and chauvinistic among us will admit that this appears to be a jaw-dropping waste of skills and education? What on earth is going on?

Girls perform better in the education system and girls outperform boys in the Leaving Cert in most subjects. Maybe this is a result of our feminised education system or perhaps there are other reasons at play here; for example, exam achievement may be a huge draw for girls but not such an attractive prospect for the boys.

Indeed, if career success was measured in terms of education and qualifications, then the men would have a greater need for gender equality than women, as the CSO figures also show us that 55.1pc of young women get third-level qualifications compared to just 42.9pc of their male counterparts.

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