The people of Ireland seem to hold their religion in a category of high importance. The question I would like to ask is how religion influences the division of labor between men and women in Ireland? The majority of people in Southern Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland, are Catholic and the largest church is the Roman Catholic Church. While the majority of people in Northern Ireland are Protestant because they are still controlled by the United Kingdom (Klazema, 2014). For the purpose of this article I’m going to be focusing mostly on the Republic of Ireland. The people of the Republic of Ireland seem to link family and religion strongly. This relates to the women in the workforce because they are often considered to be more committed to their religion due to their child-rearing role in this community. This is based mostly on the traditional ideas that women stay at home to take care of the children (Devine, 2013). This would lead less women to being in the workforce. Basing this conclusion on the premise that the woman has a partner they could be dependent on finically. This would also lead one to believe that a woman in the workforce would be looked down upon because this is not the role they are expected to play. This role is expected to be played by the women who are the most devoted to their religion. This is because not being a part of the workforce allows for woman to be more available for involvement in the church.
This does not seem to be a problem for the men who follow the same religion. This is simply because the men that follow this catholic religion are not expected to be solely committed to religion. This would lead one to believe that a woman in the workforce would find ways of identifying herself outside of the religion, thus making her religious identity less important (Devine, 2013). There is also a theory that state that females are more drawn towards religion because they feel grief in a more substantial way than males. For this theory it states that women seek out religion to ease the burden of guilt they feel (Devine, 2013). This would lead women in the catholic religion to not seek out the workforce because it would only lead them to feeling guilty for not preforming the task they believe to be intended for them. According to this theory that would lead them back to religion to ease this guilt. Taking this into consideration I wanted to look at the labor force participation for both men and women in Ireland. The statistics I found were not surprising for the difference, for men is was 68.3 percent in the workforce while women were only 52.4 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010-2012). This number surprised me based on the information I learned based on their religion. However, the world is changing, and women are becoming more empowered outside of institutions such as religion and joining the workforce. I was unable to find a statistic that separated the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland for participation in the workforce, I would be interested in seeing that statistic since their religion is different. I think that based on the given statistic, it shows that while religion may play a role in the choice a women makes to work in the workforce or not, it is not forcing them to stay out of the workforce.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, (2013, August 21). In International Labor Comparisons – Ireland.
Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/fls/country/ireland.htm
Devine, P. (2013, October 2). Men, Women, and Religiosity in Northern Ireland: Testing the
Theories. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 28(3), 1-17. Retrieved July 11, 2018, from https://www-tandfonline.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/doi/abs/10.1080/13537903.2013.831656
Klazema, A. (2014, April 18). In Facts About Ireland and its Religion, Culture, and Identity.
Retrieved from https://blog.udemy.com/facts-about-ireland/