Women and Work in Ireland

Women and Work in Ireland

By Margret Fine-Davis



This book chronicles the evolution of women's participation in the labour force in Ireland over the last five decades. This was largely spearheaded by married women and mothers, leading to many related social issues including childcare, flexible working, the sharing of domestic work and work-life balance. The book presents empirical data on these topics, drawn from the author's research spanning several decades, and shows how attitudes have evolved and influenced the development of social policy. The book begins by exploring the factors which predisposed some married women to enter the workplace in the early 1970s while most did not and examines the relative well-being of housewives and employed married women. It demonstrates the effects the anti-discrimination legislation of the 1970s had on women's perceived discrimination over time, showing that women initially denied their own discrimination. The history of childcare policy is examined from the early Government Working Party reports of the 1980s to the evolution of childcare policy in Ireland. Issues of work-life balance are presented through cross-cultural comparisons from Ireland and several European countries, and key questions are asked, such as "are men who work part-time seen as less serious about their careers?" The concluding chapter focuses on how women's role in the workplace impacts on men and gender relations. Questions are posed concerning the ways in which men's roles need to adapt and the extent to which workplaces and social policy also need to change to accommodate men and women's needs for work-life balance. The book will be of interest to social scientists and to students. It will be a valuable resource for courses in the sociology of work and the family, gender studies, social psychology and Irish studies. By providing quantitative data in an accessible form, it will also provide a valuable case study for courses in social research methods.

ISBN: 9780367564919


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