Women in Ireland are looking for equality in the workplace in terms of job opportunities and pay.
Evelyn Owens of the Advisory Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) speaks to 'Newsbeat' about women's rights. She provides examples of how women are treated unfairly in employment and disparities in the workplace. These include the Marriage Bar, which restricts the employment of married women especially in the Civil Service and that women are paid less than men for doing the same job.
Many women in employment must give up jobs when they get married.
While this is an obvious example of discrimination against women in the workplace, it is by no means the only one. Evelyn Owens explains that social attitudes do not encourage married women to return to employment or continue to work when they marry.
When it comes to the taxation code, women are again discriminated against. Married women do not get the same tax allowances as single women. In addition, married men do not receive a full tax free allowance for their spouses, only receiving half of what is normal.
Discrimination is further met by widows.
A widower is allowed a taxation allowance to employ a housekeeper. But a widow who has to go out to work can't get the same allowance. This, of course, is just utter nonsense.
Evelyn Owens acknowledges that the law in Ireland is not that discriminatory but the customs and attitudes are very much against employment rights of women in terms of job opportunities, rates of pay, and social welfare benefits.
The most important aspect of equality is job opportunities. There are examples of semi-state bodies who will not employ lady clerks even though they have the required qualifications.
I think there are far too many fields of employment where women can not get a job at any level.
The government has been called on by the ICTU to set up a commission to investigate the status of women in Ireland.
This episode of 'Newsbeat' was broadcast on 25 April 1969.