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Irish women are still earning less on average than men, despite being more educated and qualified than men, a new Central Statistics Office (CSO) has shown.

The study showed that in 2010, the early school leaving rate for men remained much higher than for women, with 12.6 per cent of 18- to 24-year-old men leaving school early as opposed to 8.4 per cent of women in the same age bracket. Women were also more likely to have a third level qualification, with 53 per cent holding a qualification. This compared to 39 per cent of men.

However, subject choices still varies greatly between men and women, with men making up five-sixths of engineering, manufacturing and construction degrees, and 57 per cent of Science degrees.

Women were more strongly featured in “caring” subjects, with 82 per cent of health and welfare degrees given to women and 74 per cent of education degrees. Women also accounted for 63 per cent of arts and humanities degrees.

Despite the larger number of women with third level qualifications, more men were in employment in Ireland in 2011. In that year, 63.3 per cent of men were employed in Ireland, compared to 56 per cent of women.

Women were also found to work less hours than men, with men working an average of 39.4 hours a week in 2011 compared to 30.6 hours for women.

The discrepancies were also borne out in income differences, with women making approximated 73 per cent of what men did in 2009. The gap narrowed when the difference in working hours was taken into account, but still showed a difference of 6 per cent, with women making 94 per cent as much as men.

Women were also found to be under-represented in government in the CSO study and in high positions in their professions.

The study found that only 15.1 per cent of TDs in Dáil Éireann were women, while women accounted for just over a third of members of State Boards, less than a fifth of members of local authorities and just over a third of the membership of Vocational Education Committees.

The study also found that only 36 per cent of medical and dental consultants are women, despite the majority stake of graduates in the health and welfare sections being women. Despite women making up 85 per cent of primary school teachers in the country, only 53 per cent of primary school managers were women.

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