The most important factor in explaining the lower pensions of older women is that they are unlikely to have been employed steadily (or at all) throughout their adult lives. According to a CARDI research brief based on the report and other relevant data, "in RoI showed that in 1983 less than a quarter of women aged 50-54 were in paid work, though this was true of 80% of men of the same age. By 2002 the number of women aged 50-54 in the labour market had doubled to 50.6%." While European data show the increase in labor force participation by older women, "it shows the very low base in 1994, with less than one fifth of older women in employment in seven countries, including RoI."
Nata Duvvury, co-Director of the Global Women’s Studies Programme at NUI Galway, one of the lead investigators of the report commented:
Women are often the holders of low pay and part-time jobs which will dramatically affect their ability to build pensions. With the economic crisis, this particular group in society is being put under even more financial pressure and the long-term result looks set to be financial insecurity in older age.Source: Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland News Release (February 23, 2012)