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EU study pinpoints main differences between Irish men and women. Photo by: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The difference between Irish men and Irish women

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EU study pinpoints main differences between Irish men and women. Photo by: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Irish men are more likely to be unemployed, imprisoned and less educated than their female counterparts.

But Irish women still earn less than men and are less likely to hold a seat of power, according to the findings of a new report.

The study, entitled 'Women and Men in Ireland 2013,' found that Ireland ranks slightly above the EU average in terms of gender equality with a score of 55.2.

But Ireland's position in the table – ninth out of 27 EU countries – still lags far behind more egalitarian Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark and Finland, all of which scored above 73 points, and other nations like the UK, which posted an equality index rating of 60.4.

The CSO [Central Statistics Office] report studied areas of Irish society, ranging from education to crime, to find out which gender dominates.

And one area where Ireland tops the EU table is fertility – with Irish and French women officially the most fertile in Europe.

But The Journal reports that Irish women are still "overwhelmingly more likely (98 percent) to be a stay-at-home parent."

By EU standards Irish women are also under-represented in the national parliament.  The Dail is 10 percent below the EU average for female representation in the national parliament. The study notes that last year just 15.7 percent of politicians in the Dail were female, compared to an EU-wide average of 27.5 percent.

The findings place Ireland among the 10 lowest-ranked nations for political and economic representation, with the CSO noting that women remain "significantly under-represented in decision-making structures."

The lack of female representation in positions of power stands in stark contrast to the superior educational achievements of women.

The Irish Times notes that more young Irish women have a third-level education than their male counterparts with more than half, or 55.3 percent, of 25- to 34-year-old women holding a third-level qualification compared to 42.7 percent of men in the same age bracket.

The publication also notes that employment among both genders has increased in the past two years, reaching 65.7 percent among males and 55.9 percent among females in the first three months of this year.

Unemployment among men stood at 13.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, with one in 10 women out-of-work in the same period.

The report also found that women still earn significantly less than their male counterparts, but are slightly less likely to emigrate than men.

And women – as they are the world over – are also likely to out-live their male counterparts. In 2012 the life expectancy at birth for women in Ireland stood at 83.2 years, compared to 78.7 for men.

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