Women Are Valued Differently From Men in Irish Society

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Women Are Valued Differently From Men in Irish Society “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute” - Rebecca West, 1913. This quote, spoken almost a century ago, is still relevant in the Ireland of the new Millennium and even the roaring of the Celtic Tiger cannot drown it out. Women can vote, can serve as jurors, judges, TD's or Taoiseach. Equal pay is protected under legislation. We have certain rights to maternity leave. We have equal access to education, we can study honours maths and physics at school, we can become engineers and are encouraged to take FAS courses in electronics. There is EC grant money aimed at women setting up in business. The Civil Service marriage bar was abolished in 1972. Contraception is more readily available. There are radio programmes, feature articles, government ministers and Oireachtas bodies specifically aimed at women’s' affairs. Most sport clubs are open to women. We can hold property in our own right, we don't need our husbands permission to get a bank loan, we are allowed into pubs and can drink pints, just like men. In other words, a lot of the institutionalised oppression that women such as my mother would have argued against in the 1960's has disappeared. Yet it is also obvious that women are still far from equal. For the majority of us, our right to choose the way of life we wish to lead is as limited as it has always been. Rather than being liberated, we are still tied by virtue of our poor wage earning abilities to the home and family. A study recently published in Fortune magazine indicated that the leading occupations fo... ... middle of paper ... ... when these issues have been resolved can women hope to face men on an equal footing with fair and non-discriminatory opportunities for both sexes. Bibliography: Bibliography - Hoff, Joan and Coulter Moureen. Irish Women’s Voices: Past and Present. US: Indiana University Press, 1995. - Tweedy, Hilda. A Link in the Chain. - Heron, Marianne. Fighting Spirit. Conroy, Sheila. Dublin: Attic, 1993. - Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women. New York: WW Norton & Co. Inc., 1988. - Cummins, Mary. The Best of About Women. Dublin: Marino Books, 1996. - Hursthouse, Rosalind. Beginning Lives. Oxford: Open University, 1987. - Norrie, Kenneth. Family Planning Practice & Law. England: Dartmouth Publishing Company Ltd., 1991. - Quotes about Women. 05/ 03/ ’00. - Quotes about Women. 05/ 03/ ’00. - Launch of DIAC. 05/ 03/’00.

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