Ireland’s Approach to Sustainable Gender Equality – SDG 5

How is Ireland working towards workplace gender inclusion? SDG 5 aims to: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” in Ireland.

Gendelity’s explores aspects that support workplace gender inclusion.

To achieve the SDGs, governments, businesses, communities and individuals will all have to work together. Everyone can contribute to that work, from businesses adopting sustainable corporate strategies, to communities working together to improve their local environment, to the individual choices we all make as consumers.”

Government of Ireland,
The Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020

“Repealing laws that discriminate against women and girls …. and ending the gender pay gap are just some of the areas we are targeting”

 UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Ireland’s ambition is to fully implement the SDGs by 2030 and our UN Ambassador co-chaired the final negotiation and adoption of the SDGs by 193 countries. Agenda 2030 reaffirmed the importance of the gender gap in incorporating women into employment (ILO, 2016). The Sustainable Development Goal National Implementation Plan 2018 – 2020

Approaches at this level state:

  • “Beginning in 2018, include reference in all new Statements of Strategy to all SDG targets for which a Department has lead responsibility” and
  • “Identify those items of departmental expenditure which support specific SDGs”.

The following national strategies includes elements support Ireland’s work towards SDG 5.

List of national strategies excerpt from Ireland's SDG National Implement Plan 2018 - 2020
project Ireland 2040: National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040: National Development Plan 2018 -2027, National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017 - 2020, National Action plan for Social Inclusion 2018 - 2012, Enterprise 2025 Renewed, Towards Responsible Business: Ireland's National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility 2017 - 2020, and Realizing our Rural Potential: Action Plan for Rural Development
Excerpt from Ireland’s SDG National Implement Plan 2018 – 2020

Goal => Target => Indicator

SDG 5 => Target 5.x => Indicators => 5.x.y

All sustainable developing goals, SDGs, use a nested structure where goals become targets, and targets are measured against indicators.

SDG 5 Targets

Target 5.4 – Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.

Target 5.5 – Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

SDG 5 Indicators

Indicators help avoid a focus on action, ensuring rather that the focus is on outcomes, i.e. results.

Sustainable Development Goal 5 With Select Targets & Indicators With Particularly Relevant For Workpalce Gender Inclusion

Working Towards SDG 5 In Ireland – National Goals, Targets and Indicators

Included in Ireland’s plan to implement the SDGs are aspirations to:

  • address entrenched inequalities.
  • mainstream a gender perspective into policy.
  • improve percentages of women in senior management.

In 2018 via the Voluntary National Review of SDGs, Ireland’s government set out the national mechanism to address the aspirations of SDG 5.4 and 5.5 targets using a “whole-of-government framework” and the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017 – 2020. These two targets are particularly relevant for workplace gender equality in Ireland.

SDG Target 5.4 – gender imbalance in unpaid care workSDG Target 5.4 – gender imbalance in unpaid care work
SDG Target 5.5 – gender imbalance in leadership positionsSDG Target 5.5 – gender imbalance in leadership positions
Department of Justice and Equality

Gender balance in leadership refers to political leadership, economic leadership, i.e. business leadership, and public-sector leadership as the indicators make clear. Considering these indicators, what can be reliably measured and how is Ireland doing?

Ireland’s SDG National Indicator SDG 5.5.1 – Women in National and Local Government

Data Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division

Ireland’s SDG National Indicator 5.5.2 – Proportion of women in managerial positions (%)

On the government’s national indicator data source, raw data is available for this indicator.

On the government’s national indicator data source, raw data is available as an approximation for this indicator.

“…. the proportion of the female population at work in a management, director or senior official role. The layer has been developed as a proxy to represent SDG 5.5.2. ‘Proportion of Women in Managerial Positions’ for Ireland. Census 2016 data produced by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and NUTS 3 boundary data produced by Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) were used.”

There’s also an EU’s Definition of women in private sector managerial positions.

Ireland’s SDG National Indicator 5.5.2 – Proportion of women in senior and middle management positions (%)

More soon here.

Further Resources on Ireland National SDG 5 – Gender Equality

SDG 5 and Local Government

In Ireland the primary responsibilities of local government are: Housing, Planning, Arts, Heritage & Archives, Roads & Transport, Environment, Water & Waste Water, Community, and Libraries

Our 31 city and county councils, made up of both elected councilors and civil servants work in cooperation with civic society through Public Participant Networks (PPNs) and others. PPNs represent environmental, social inclusion and voluntary organisations and must be registered charities. Collectively this decision making body is called Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) “is responsible for coordinating, planning and overseeing local development initiatives” (Fingal LCDC). They bring national policies into communities.

SDG 5 and Local Economic and Community Plans (LECPs)

There are various planning approaches for local government. Following guidance from the Minister for Local Government in 2015, each of the 31 councils was tasked with developing a Local Economic and Community Plan, such as Fingal’s 2015 -2021 LECP and Wicklow’s 2016-2022 LECP. These LECP indicate what should be done locally incorporating community input and overseen by LCDCs (above). They are enacted by 31 local authorities in cooperation with others such as Enterprise Ireland. For example, the LEOs, local enterprise offices, sit within the local government structure and work with Enterprise Ireland.

Local Government Themes => High-Level Goals => Objectives => Actions

Fingal’s Local Economic Community Plan 2015 – 2021 (The dates on this LECP reference variously to 2015 or 2016 through 2020 or 2021)

These plans use a cascading structure from ‘themes’ to ‘actions’. The Guidelines on Local Economic and Community Plans call for “each objective within the economic and community elements will be achieved through the implementation of specific, time-bound and measurable actions.”

Many actions focus on new job creation via education, training and mentoring particularly for prospective entrepreneurs. For example Fingal’s plan to 2021 includes action 20.

“A20: Identify needs and supports to promote entrepreneurial and employment initiatives with specific interest groups i.e. ethnic minorities, young people, travellers, disability, women’s groups, etc.”

=> Locate Your Local Economic and Community Plan Here

Local Government Shorter Term Planning

There are also bi-annual Corporate Plans such as Dublin City Council Corporate Plan 2020 – 2024 which outlines the approach “to deliver on the key priorities …. and to respond to the defining global and local environmental, social and economic challenges”. In 2020 these corporate plans includes reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.