CLM was invited to provide an interview to the European Commission - Directive-General for Justice and Consumers as part of an evaluation study on the application of the Directive 79/7/EEC on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security. Our submission highlighted the lack of recognition in the social welfare system of care work and parenting, which affects women's choices and opportunities for employment and thus their potential to move out of poverty.
Issues that arise include poverty in old age, being economically dependant and less able to escape domestic violence, having incomplete access to Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) when working in caring and atypical work situations etc. It is predominantly women who act as carers - the last Census revealed that females provided around two-thirds (66.1%) of all care hours in Ireland. Issues around access to work and inadequate pension entitlements and coverage arise. One example of the failure of the social security system to recosnise care work and parenting is the manner in which a person is deemed to be a new entrant if they have not contributed to the social insurance system for the previous two years.