Women and Austerity


  • Deirdre Cronin


The position of women in Irish society in 2012 is in a very contradictory place. Double the amount of Irish women are working compared to only a generation before and the attendance of women in higher education exceeds that of men. And yet, in the Irish recession, conservative ideas about women are resurfacing and, courtesy of a Labour Minister for Social Protection, working class women are being scapegoated as feckless 'unmarried mothers' who cost the state too much. As in the recession of the 1930's, working class women are bearing the brunt of all the injustice meted out by the capitalist class. Then laws were introduced to exclude women from work; today women are told to get o_ social welfare and deal with childcare on lower and lower wages.