The Global Campaign for Men and Boys
Is there Equality For Men in Northern Ireland? Glen Poole of equality4men will be visiting Northern Ireland this week and has been looking at some of the evidence.
A quick visit to the website of NICVA, the representative body of the community, voluntary and charity sector in Northern Ireland suggests that while that men and boys are not recognized as experiencing gender equality—see: our vision is of full gender equality (but only for women and girls).
This is surprising when a couple of hours of quick research revealed this list of 12 inequalities than men and boys in Northern Ireland face:
1. Life Expectancy in North Ireland
Boys born in Northern Ireland can expect to die four and a half years sooner than girls with men’s life expectancy currently 77.7 years compared to 82.1 years for women. (Source: Office for National Statistics)
2. Suicide in Northern Ireland
Men in Northern Ireland are three times more likely to die by suicide than women with four men a week taking their own lives. Men in their thirties and forties are most at risk with men aged 35-39 being 5 times more likely to kill themselves than women of the same age (Source: Samaritans) The number of male suicides in Northern Ireland doubled between 1995 to 2011. (Source: Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Northern Ireland).
3. Unemployment in Northern Ireland
Nearly one in ten men are unemployed in Northern Ireland with men being more than twice as likely to women to be experiencing unemployment. The gap between male unemployment and female unemployment rose 25% between 2008 and 2013. (Source: Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland)
4. Crime and Violence
Men are more likely than men to be victims of violent crime in Northern Ireland with young men being particularly vulnerable. Young men in Northern Ireland are three times more likely than young women to be victims of violent crime. Young men are almost 18 times more likely to be murdered or die following an assault than women of a similar age and in one study 82% of boys in Year 10 reported being victims of violence. (Source: Centre for Young Men’s Studies)
5. Prison population
In 2009, the latest year for which prison data are available, the vast majority (96.7%) of the average Northern Ireland prison population were male. (Source: Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Northern Ireland).
Boys in Northern Ireland underperform girls at every stage of education with girls being a third more likely to leave school with two or three A Level qualifications. In 2011/12, Northern Ireland females obtaining a qualification from any UK higher education institution outnumbered males by a factor of 1.5 to 1 overall. Boys in Northern Ireland are also twice as likely as girls to leave school with no O Level qualifications. (Source: Centre for Young Men’s Studies and Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Northern Ireland).
7. Male Teachers
Only 15% of teachers at primary schools in Northern Ireland are men and there are no male nursery school teachers. (Source: Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Northern Ireland)
Men in Northern Ireland have a persistently higher incidence of cancers compared to women being nearly 20% more likely to get the disease. (Source: Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Northern Ireland)
Men are more that twice as likely as women to report alcohol consumption above sensible levels. In 2011/2013 28% of men in Northern Ireland reported drinking above the recommended level of alcohol compared with 13% of women. (Source: Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Northern Ireland)
There are an estimated 250,00 fathers with dependant children in Northern Ireland. 83% of men under the age of 45 in Northern Ireland agreed that staying at home to look after the children is a job that is appropriate for both men and women but 94% of men say ‘many families cannot afford for fathers to take paternity leave ‘. (Man Matters)
11. Separated Fathers
The number of fatherless households in Northern Ireland has risen from 10% in 1983 to 26% in 2010. It is estimated that nearly one in four children in Northern Ireland don’t live with their dads. Northern Ireland survey data shows that children with involved dads do better on average on a range of measures being less likely to drink underage, being more likely to feel good about themselves and being more likely to go to university. (Man Matters)
12. Domestic Violence
Reports of domestic violence against men in Northern Ireland have risen by 41% since 2004/5 (compared with a 9% increase for women) according to the PSNI. Of the 10,204 domestic abuse crimes concerning someone with a known age and gender last year, police said 25% were against men. According to the British Crime Survey around 40% of domestic violence incidents are against men and men are generally half as likely to tell anyone about the abuse. This suggests that male victims of domestic violence continue to get unequal access to help when they need it.
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