Ireland ranks bottom in report on childcare from Overseas Development Institute

Iraq was one of the countries listed above Ireland on the list

Ireland ranks bottom in report on childcare from Overseas Development Institute

Photocall file photo

A report from the Overseas Development Insitute (ODI) has ranked Ireland bottom of the list when it comes to the split of childcare and unpaid labour in the home. 

The report, which looked at a worldwide childcare crisis, stated that the "crisis is leaving millions of children without the support they need, with damaging consequences for their future". 

Among 37 countries studied, including Vietnam, Gaza, Mexico, India and Ethiopia, Ireland was rated as the most unequal, with the majority of unpaid domestic work being undertaken by women. 

Image: Overseas Development Institute

The report showed that across all countries studied, women undertook at least two-thirds of all childcare in the home. Sweden had the highest rate of equality at 63%, while Ireland was bottom, where 93% of unpaid domestic work is done by women. 

In countries where the workload is extremely unevenly split, the resulting extra labour can be equivalent to up to 10 weeks' work per year, while "when paid and unpaid responsibilities are combined, women still do overwhelmingly more work, up to five or more weeks per year more than men". 

The cost of this unpaid labour and child care was estimated to be valued at up to $10 trillion annually, and the study highlighted that the burden does not only fall on mothers, but also on adolescent girls and young women in the family.

The lack of childcare policies contributes to the ongoing inequality, with the report recommending that they should go beyond the usual issues of giving workers time off, protecting breastfeeding and providing crèches.

The ODI recommend reforming social protection and early childhood care and education, as in many cases existing policies currently serve to further deepen the divide. 

This report comes off the back of research which showed that 60% of low paid jobs in Ireland are done by women, and three out of every 10 women earn less than €11.45 per hour.

Via The Guardian/ODI