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Posts Tagged ‘ Central Statistics Office ’

News in Brief- Virgin On The Ridiculous

babyI know we’ve all been worrying about it but it’s ok, the European Commission isn’t banning refillable olive oil jugs in restaurants. PHEW. It’s no joke though. That innocent looking bottle atop the table in your local plastic vine covered eatery could actually be the source of some serious food fraud! Agricultural commissioner Dacian Ciolos has tried to tackle the greasy trickery of restaurant owners supplying their customers with low-grade oil in misleading bottles, however had to concede a u-turn on the policy when it received little support. Turns out, we don’t care if it’s extra virgin or engine, if we can dip our chips in it. An award goes to Scottish MEP Alyn Smyth, a monitor of the policy, who tweeted: ’olive oil proposal was, after all, virgin on the ridiculous’. Continue reading

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News in Brief-Consumer Fear Decreasing While HSE Announces Major Cuts

After last week’s fear of the number thirteen putting the clamps on car buying, this week the Central Statistics Office reports Irish consumer fear is in fact decreasing. We’re increasingly more happy to splash the cash despite the recession being far from over. However rather than an indication of increased wealth these figures only represent the ‘sentiment’ of Irish shoppers, so we’re not crying over our cabbages anymore but we’re still far from boom buying.

The HSE has announced it is to make cuts worth €130 million over the remainder of the year in order to meet Troika’s targets and remain “within budget”. Furniture is listed as one of the areas the executive plans to cut back as well as advertising those crazy, comfortable commercialists. More worrying education and training are also noted as being for the chop. Where will we go when our Doctors don’t know what they’re doing? And where will we sit?!
Apparently 79% of elderly people who live alone do not have internet access, according to the Central Statistics Office (those guys!). Is this news? Age Action Ireland obviously think so. A representative is quoted by thejournal.ie as saying the findings are “worrying”, what because they don’t know what’s trending at the moment? They don’t know what a face book is? The poor sods. Lack of access also causes “barriers for older people to upskill in IT”. Just what we need, more job competition. What a load of . . .

Talking of which Elvis Presley’s unwashed underpants are up for auction. Expected to reach €13,000 next week in Stockport, Cheshire the pants were part of one of Presley’s stage outfits designed to prevent a VPL (visible panty line, for those not versed in the frustrations of fashionistas everywhere.) If only I had a spare €13,000 – then I’d have a spare €13,000.

Back in Ireland it’s Electric Picnic weekend! Hurrah! The final festival of the season and it’s bound to be a good one. Festival survival guides suggest bringing along the usual sun cream, wet weather gear and allow plenty of time for travel. Happy campers are also advised only 48 cans of alcohol per person are allowed. That’s sixteen cans each evening Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you do manage to get through that lot, festival organisers have advised that alcohol will be available for purchase on site. Thank god.
It is officially silly season – especially after all those pints – the time of the year when with politicians set to out-of-office the media is full of frivolous drivel and a general stupid stupor descends until Christmas. No more so than the Essex lion that stalked Clacton on Monday igniting the nationwide intrigue as well as a hastily created Essex lion twitter account. A mass scrambling of police searching out the beast was called off when it turned out to be a house cat.

Gender Inequality Remains In The Workplace

Half a century of ‘Women’s liberation’, but here in Ireland men still bring home the bacon. Latest CSO figures show women have higher rates of education, but are earning less- if anything at all. The number of women signing on has risen, while the number of men on the live register is seen to be decreasing. Is gender inequality an issue in Ireland, or is there more to it than the statistics?

As part of a radio show, I asked a range of students on UCC campus what they thought; most felt males dominated their workplaces. An older man commented on the male to female ratio in the Dàil, and that we have yet to have a female Taoiseach.

The issue with gender in the workplace is coming from a time when women are trying to shake themselves from traditional roles, however, it seems to work both ways. Long gone are days when women simply married, and raised families. It would be unfair to say that women want it all, as some opt only for a career while others focus on home life. Speaking from experience, working hard and raising children is demanding, and you do feel like you miss out at times. While staying home to look after the children need not be exclusively a female role- it certainly is an instinct not to be sniffed at. How many women are comfortable with men staying home to look after the young, and cooking the meals? Deep down there is a questioning of ability, on both sides.

Men can be just as over-looked as women at times. In Ireland, Marital stresses are high as the job crisis continues. It may just be that the pressure has fallen on the man to provide; this is no easy task. Courts in Ireland have only begun to stop ruling in favour of the mother, where a father is able to provide a stable home. The role of nursing is still very much a female dominated field, and must pose problems for male students starting out. Furthermore, some women dress their men in salmon shirts and skin-tight jeans, and then complain to their partners that they are repressed when they wear six-inch heels and boob tubes. Is it not fair to say that women have begun to retaliate in kind? While I don’t advocate it, it does seem to be happening more and more.

It is a shame for a person of any gender to be undervalued, and unrecognized for good work. If we wish to advance, we need to shake away the tags and sexism of the past. But, it begs no harm to remember that sometimes women and men can bear different strengths. As a mother, I enjoy what I do- but my children will always be first- I don’t see this as an inequality, but rather a badge of honour. I would gladly take to the home if my children needed me, I’m committed to what’s important. Do employers consider this as a risk factor when hiring women? If so, let me add that I can work well under pressure and serious sleep deprivation.

So the figures do show a weighting, that favours men in the workplace- but it may be just a response to crisis to assume the positions we know that work best. Women are just as bright and capable, but lets not hammer down to hard on the males either. If you find inequality, then fight it; lets not be hypocritical either- let all the women treat their men this valentines instead of waiting for flowers.

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