Gender Discrimination In Social Policy

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Introduction An initial feminist critique of the gender difference in social policy, is that a woman’s experience of welfare had until recently been frequently side-lined in the mainstream social policy debate. A reason for this is that in society, it is the males who have most of the dominant positions of power and influences, and also in the development and study of social policy fields (Alcock, 2003). This can be understood as social policy is governed and created by men for men, and the study of the different fields in social policy is determined by the men in higher positions. This essay will look at the gender discrimination that can be seen in Irish social policy, it will begin by explaining the male bread winner model and how/where…show more content…
The model celebrates marriage and also the strict division of labour between husband and wife. The husband’s role is to be the head of the house hold and it is his duty to provide for his family through full time employment, whereas the wife’s role is to provide care to her husband and children and to make the house a home (Sainsbury, 1996). In the United Kingdom, this model influenced Beveridge’s plan for social security, he assumed that the wife’s role was in the home and that this would make marriage the sole occupation of the married woman. He therefor excluded married women from insurance protection through the offer of reduced contributions with no entitlements to benefits because he believe that the husband would/ should be able to provide income support here (Alcock, 2003). Beveridges model was applied to Irish social policy under the National Insurance Act in…show more content…
The Irish Women’s Liberation movement (WLM) was founded in the 1970’s by the inspiration of the civil rights movements in the United States and in Britain. This movement was set about to seek the liberation of all women, they released a manifesto in 1971 relating to issues that affected the working class women including: Equal pay and the removal of the marriage bar; the right to contraception and equal rights in law (Horgan, 2001). In the 1930’s, the marriage bar was introduced in response to high unemployment, it required that women (mainly in white collar professions) in both private and public sector to leave paid employment upon them getting married. The marriage bar was abolished in 1973, the same year that Ireland joined the EEC (Fahey, 2003). It was a year later in 1974 that Ireland tried to opt out of the Treaty of Rome, article 119 of this treaty allowed for the introduction of equal pay for women and men for the same work, at this time in Ireland women only earned 56% of their male counterparts (Kiely et al,
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