25 years after the publication of the Status of Women report, how have things really changed for women?

Prior to 1973, women weren't entitled to serve on a jury on the same basis as men; they had to leave their jobs in the civil service when they got married, and they had no statutory rights to maternity leave when they got pregnant.  

Thanks to the pioneering work of Sheila Conroy, one of the authors of the first reports on the status of women, some of this has changed. 

She says that women were disadvantaged.

They were really secondary citizens.

Sheila Conroy recalls fighting for fair wages for women, many of whom were getting one-third of what the men were paid. 

Times have now changed and Sheila's granddaughter Selina Gormley says that it seems "unimaginable" that women could be treated in this way. 

You just automatically presume that you're going to get equal pay, equal job opportunities, promotions. It's going to be men and women versus each other, not men only.

The 1973 report brought in bodies to deal with equality and sex discrimination, family planning and provision for single mothers. However, not everything recommended in the report was introduced. For example, there has been little done in the area of childcare. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 February 1998. The reporter is Anne Marie Smyth.