National Women's Strategy

The Department of Justice and Equality launched a consultation process: Towards a new National Women’s Strategy 2017-2020 in 2016.

CIPD Ireland put in a submission on the strategy in January 2017 and commented on the fact that women have a lower rate of pension coverage than men. We also identified that maternal gaps in labour market participation exacerbate this problem and called on the government to take action which not only addresses the State’s overall pensions funding gap, but also the bigger pension gap experienced by women. We called on the National Women’s Strategy to acknowledge this concern, how it contributes to greater poverty among older women in Ireland, and to consider funding mechanisms to cover employment gaps and build a more equitable society.

A 2017 Age Action research report has shown that the State pension scheme itself is unfairly affecting women. Changes in 2012 resulted in thousands of retired workers losing more than €1,500 a year, with women pensioners suffering the most, commonly for taking time out of the workforce to care for their families. CIPD supports Age Action’s call for the 2012 cut to be reversed and for the incomes of these pensioners to be restored.

CIPD urged:

  • The government to reverse the 2012 pension changes and for the incomes of these pensioners to be restored.
  • The Department of Justice and Equality to outline actions to address the pension inequalities for women as a central plank of the forthcoming National Women’s Strategy.
  • The Department of Social Protection to implement process to both review and future-proof pension provision to ensure that it does not inadvertently effect those who may have be out of the workforce, whether though parenting or illness.
  • The government to ensure that proposals on universal pension coverage take account of the lower pension coverage by women, their lower wages and gaps in employment, and provide funding supports to deliver equitable pension coverage.

You can download our submission below.

The Department of Justice and Equality published the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020: creating a better society for all in April 2107.

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