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Ageing through austerityCritical perspectives from Ireland$
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Keiran Walsh, Gemma M. Carney, and Áine Ní Léime

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316237

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316237.001.0001

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Pension provision, gender, ageing and work in Ireland

Pension provision, gender, ageing and work in Ireland

(p.63) Five Pension provision, gender, ageing and work in Ireland
Ageing through austerity

Áine Ní Léime

Nata Duvvury

Aoife Callan

Policy Press

A gender gap in pension provision is widely recognised as a feature of most European pension systems that are often constructed on traditional gender norms of male breadwinner/female carer. Surprisingly in the discourse on pension reforms, whose urgency is argued in light of the burden of demographic ageing and the threat of expanding fiscal crisis of state budgets, little attention is paid to the ways in which these reforms would differentially impact women and men. This chapter discusses the gendered consequences of pension reforms, with a particular focus on older women workers in Ireland in a time of austerity. Drawing on a feminist political economy of ageing perspective and using a life-course framework, the chapter explores the specific factors underlying gendered pension provision and the gendered impacts of recent changes to pensions as part of the Irish austerity programme. A key conclusion of the chapter is that pension reforms must be linked to other broad policy areas, such as low pay for care activities, investment in childcare and paternity benefits, to ensure the underlying gender constraints are addressed, giving women and men equal economic security in later life.

Keywords:   Pension reforms, Gender, Life course, Older women workers, Gender pension gaps, Economic crisis, Austerity, European pension systems, Ireland

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