Study shows that it is acceptable for married women to work if certain conditions are met.
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) report 'Women and Employment in Ireland: Results of a National Survey’ deals with several topics relating to the employment of women in Ireland. It was conducted between March and May 1971.
The findings show the most widespread attitude is that it is acceptable for married women to work if certain conditions are met, and in particular if there are no young children in the family or if the children could be well looked after while the mother is working.
There are crèches and day nurseries in operation such as the one operated by the Civics Institute in Marrowbone Lane in The Liberties in Dublin. The day centre manager Maureen Hope believes these centres
Are a great help and benefit to the whole community.
In her centre 50% of the children have mothers who, out of necessity, must go out to work each day. The other 50% are made up of one parent families or children whose homes lack play facilities.
Many day care centres such as are designed to help people who have problems.
There is a great demand for her services to the point that people must fill out an application form or come recommended by social workers.
Otherwise we'd have a tremendous waiting list, as it is we have a waiting list, but we have to cut this down.
If there were more day centres for children, one woman with a 14 month old daughter would like to go back to work. Another woman would also go back to work if her three children were at school.
On the other hand a woman who works but does not have children has decided
When I have a family I intend to stay in and look after them.
Her sentiment is echoed by another woman with children who believes her work is in the home.
According to the ESRI survey only 10% of men disapproved outright of women working. One man interviewed feels a married woman should not have to work as her husband's role is to provide.
The wife's place is in the home.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 May 1973. The reporter is Tom McCaughren.