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Women still fighting for full equality

TODAY is International Women's Day – and it's one on which we should take stock of the status of women in Ireland.

The idea of such a day has been predictably criticised by some, who suggest that it patronises women and is tokenistic.

But such opinion misses the point. Women are confronted with inequality daily, which can manifest itself in a life-threatening way as in some Third World countries – but exists, to a lesser degree at home.

The status of women in Ireland has improved hugely in the past 50 years. Despite this, Irish women still earn 25pc less than men for the same jobs. The numbers of women seeking refuge for domestic violence rose 55pc in the last five years.

While young women have many admirable role models they are also pressurised by the sexualisation of females in pop culture.

Today we should think about how far women have come, but also how much further they have to travel to achieve full equality.