Ireland’s UN SDGs 2019 – Report on Indicators for Goal 5 Gender Equality

24th November 2020

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (24 November 2020) published ‘Ireland’s UN SDGs 2019 – Report on Indicators for Goal 5 Gender Equality’.

This report is the fifth in a series of CSO publications which will monitor how Ireland is progressing towards meeting its targets under the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Previous reports published in the UN SDG series were ‘Goal 1 No Poverty’; ‘Goal 2 Zero Hunger’; ‘Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being’, and ‘Goal 4 Quality Education’.

Commenting on the publication, Kevin McCormack, Senior Statistician, said: “‘Goal 5 Gender Equality’ reports data for Ireland in 14 Indicators divided into three main chapters: End Discrimination & Violence, Equality and Empowerment.

Data is disaggregated in categories such as gender, age group, vulnerable groups and geographical location, where possible. The SDGs and their associated indicators are, by design, wide-ranging in their coverage. As a result, the Irish data needs to be provided from a number of sources in addition to Government Departments, official Organisations, and international organisations such as the UN”.

The 17 UN SDGs are a set of global development targets adopted by the United Nations (UN) member countries in September 2015 to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The UN SDGs are driving the global development agenda towards 2030 (Agenda 2030). They address global challenges including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The CSO has a central role in the identification, management, and presentation of the data needed to meet the requirements of the UN SDG Indicators.

Violence (physical and/or sexual) by a current and/or previous partner since age 15 was experienced by 15% of women in Ireland according to a report in 2012 by the Fundamental Rights Agency, which compares to the EU figure of 22%. The figure for non-partner violence experienced by women was 19%.

There were 13 women under the age of 18 married in 2019, down from 36 women in 2018. There were 1.2 marriages per thousand females among 16 to 19 year olds in 2019.

Women held just under a quarter (23.8%) of seats in local elections in 2019. Representation by women at local government level in 2019 was highest in the Dublin region, with 38% of seats there held by women, compared with the South-East region, which had the lowest representation at 13%.

Women comprised 45.7% of the workforce, however the proportion of men in managerial occupations was 65.6% compared to 34.4% of women in the second quarter of 2020.

Men significantly outnumbered women as the holders of family farms in 2016, with 88.3% male ownership compared with 11.7% female ownership. This compares with 10.7% female ownership in 2002.

You can view the full report here>>

In response to the report, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley says: “Today’s report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) points to a sizeable gender imbalance in many facets of Irish life. Not least in politics, where women held just under a quarter (23.8%) of seats in the 2019 local elections. In recent years, we have seen considerable improvements across the board, but have yet not fully reached the 2019 target of a 30% proportion of women candidates. Central to the goal of building and maintaining a sustainable democracy is having the active participation of women and representation of all groups across the board, whether in politics, business or education. This is not just a number to be achieved, it’s a standard to reach and uphold, to properly reflect the needs of our society. I have recently participated in an awareness campaign with Cork County Council, due to launch shortly, that highlights the importance of diversity in local government. There are so many opportunities for women, and minorities of all backgrounds, to get involved in political life, and as a county, we have a wealth of education, ideas, and energy that needs to be harnessed for the betterment of all our communities”.

Also commenting on today’s CSO findings, President of Network Ireland Louisa Meehan says “This is the latest in a series of recent reports showing the gap that persists between women and men’s career prospects in Ireland. At a time when we’re hearing about the pioneering talents of an Irish-born woman working on a coronavirus vaccine, and an Irish university is appointing a woman as its president, it’s high time businesses across the board began realising the full potential of the other half of the workforce”.