The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the gender imbalance in the provision of care, according to the chair of the Citizens' Assembly.
Care is being discussed at the Assembly's online meeting today, with a focus on early years childcare as well as the social responsibility for care.
98% of all childcare workers are women and over 60% of them earn less than the living wage.
Dr Catherine Day, Chairperson of the Assembly, said the COVID-19 crisis has brought the issues of women and men’s co-responsibility for care "even more to the forefront".
Speaking to Newstalk, she said it is important that care is redistributed in the home.
"Women shoulder between two and three times the amount of unpaid care work in the home compared to men, so there's clearly an imbalance," she said.
"I think again the COVID crisis has shown many male parents the satisfaction and enjoyment of taking care of their children as well the fact that it's a heavy job."
— The Citizens' Assembly (@CitizAssembly) January 16, 2021
Professor Nóirín Hayes from Trinity College Dublin will be one of the speakers at today's meeting, with her presentation focused on caring for children.
She told Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh that Ireland's early childcare system "does not fair awfully well" when compared to other countries.
"In terms of investment, we're not really a very generous country," she said.
"Our investment, which is generally measured in GDP, our percentage would be, for children in preschool services, childminders, nurseries, creches, around 0.2% and that's in comparison to 0.6% of the EU average.
"So we're quite a way behind, we came late to the game but the investment has always been small.
Professor Hayes added that the direction of the investment has also made Ireland "a kind of outlier".
"We are very much in market-driven, private childcare environment which isn't really the environment which research suggests provides the best quality childcare services for young children," she said.
Today's presentation will look at the impact this system has on parents and also the largely female workforce that is employed in the sector.
"The effect is direct on children because they're the population that are in childcare services most of the time and the staff there, but it also has an effect on parents," Professor Hayes said.
"It's very expensive, affordability is a real issue, accessibility is an issue too because the investment where it has gone has tended to go into the services for three to five-year-olds."