Are women with children who want to work or have to work being discriminated against?

The first Commission on the Status of Women was set up in 1970. 'Wednesday Report’ investigates the status of women in Ireland to see if they have the equal rights given to all citizens under the Irish constitution.

Numerous women in Ireland with children want to work, or have to work. Many of them experience difficulty finding childcare, and when they do, nurseries and crèches are expensive. This precludes women from going to work.

Dubliner Mary Hilliard works in a canteen and her working hours are in the middle of the day and afternoon. She is not working for pin money, her wages are necessary to support her children. There have been times when she had to stay at home and see her family go without, because there was no one to look after the youngest child.

I had to wait for the best part of my family to grow up to get out to work and I think it’s terribly unfair.

Working part time gives Mary Hilliard a sense of self.  Even though she works, the relationship she has with her son has benefited because she is not at home all day. Her wages are a welcome addition to the family finances.

If you see something you can go in and buy it, you don’t have to go into debt for it.

Mary Hilliard thinks woman are taken for granted and she does not believe there is equality in pay and consideration for working women. If a woman works a man should do his far share around the home.

But Dublin men are not noted for helping in the home, we all know that, unless he’s hen pecked.

This edition of ‘Wednesday Report’ was broadcast on 22 April 1970. The reporter is Brian Cleeve.