Women deliver most unpaid care
by Hazel Gavigan

Women in Ireland spend twice as much time as men carrying out unpaid care work according to new research. On average, women undertake over 21 hours of unpaid care work each week, compared to less than 11 hours for men.


“Caring and Unpaid Work in Ireland”, which was published by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) earlier this month, found that the average time rose to over 42 hours a week for women who provide regular childcare.


In the report which analyses more than a decade of available data, unpaid care work is defined to include the care of children, older people, and those with a disability.


The results reveal a significant gender gap, with 45% of women providing care for children and older adults, compared to just 29% of men.


The gender gap in unpaid work time in Ireland is seventh highest in the European Union. The chief commissioner at the IHREC, Emily Logan, said Ireland’s performance reflected “the State’s low involvement in support for caring and sees Ireland more in line with southern and eastern European countries than with countries like Scandinavia or western Europe.”

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