Women in Northern Ireland 2017

Date published: 07 December 2017


Family life can have a big impact on women in terms of economic activity, working pattern, claiming benefits, need for childcare etc.

key points:

  • There were fewer economically active women than men and more economically inactive women.  The most common reason for inactivity was family and home commitments. (LFS July-September 2017)
  • Women are more likely than men to work part-time hours, in the service sector (particularly public administration, education and health sectors).
  • The unemployment rate for women has been consistently lower than men over the last 10 years.
  • Women with children are more likely to be economically active than women without.
  • In the last 6 years the number of childcare providers has decreased but the number of places has increased, showing the trend towards group-based care, particularly afterschool care.
  • Women are more likely than men to claim benefits as a lone parent or a carer (May 2017)
  • Girls have consistently out-performed boys in the achievement of academic qualifications in the last 8 years.
  • Women tend to be under represented in politics and public life with fewer females than males in positions such as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), Ministers in the Executive and local councillors.
  • The proportion of women aged 18-64 who have been involved in setting up their own or a shared business or have been running their own new business has increased between 2002 and 2016.
  • Full report

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