Gender Equality in Higher Education

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) in its submission to the public consultation of the Citizen’s Assembly on Gender Equality said:


The Commission is also concerned about the ongoing lack of gender balance in senior academic posts in Ireland’s higher educational institutions, where there are currently no female university Presidents/Provosts, and where only 24 per cent of Professorships are held by women.

As set out in the Oireachtas resolutionthe Assembly has been asked to advance gender equality by bringing forward proposals that:

  • Challenge the remaining barriers and social norms and attitudes that facilitate gender discrimination towards girls and boys, women and men.
  • Identify and dismantle economic and salary norms that result in gender inequalities, and reassess the economic value placed on work traditionally held by women.
  • In particular, seek to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in the workplace, politics and public life.
  • Recognise the importance of early years parental care and seek to facilitate greater work-life balance.
  • Examine the social responsibility of care and women and men’s co- responsibility for care, especially within the family.
  • Scrutinise the structural pay inequalities that result in women being disproportionately represented in low pay sectors.

Following on from the above, to prioritise the proposals, which may include policy, legislative or constitutional change, having regard to the legal requirements and the costs versus the potential impact.

It should be noted that the Oireachtas resolution establishing the Assembly refers to women and men, girls and boys.  However, for the purposes of this consultation, please understand ‘gender’ to refer to any and all options in terms of gender identity.

Further information on the Citizens’ Assembly and the Public Consultation is available at