Gender Equality: Discrimination, violence, and sexual harassment against women remains a problem in Ireland

Published by: Sinead Mooney

  1. Significant decline (-10%) seen in Ireland in the perception of gender equality achieved at home in 2021 vs 2020.
  2. 1 in 10 women continue to have faced violence or sexual harassment in the last year, rising to 1 in 4 of those aged 18-34.
  3. Only 34% of women think they have the same or greater opportunities than men, whereas 57% of men think this.
  4. Perception of gender equality in politics and work declines; especially amongst 18-34-year-olds and men.


WIN International, the world’s leading association in market research and polling, has published the Annual WIN World Survey (WWS – 2020) exploring the views and beliefs of 33,236 individuals among citizens from 39 countries across the globe about climate change. The survey analyzes views and opinions related to climate change and sustainability.



Achievements in Gender Equality

  1. Gender equality at home amongst adults aged 18+ (66%) remains the strongest compared to in work (59%) or politics (46%). However, the perception of gender equality is weaker than last year.
  2. Perception for equality at home is weaker across all demographics, while men, 18–34-year-olds, and ABC1’s also state weaker agreement for gender equality in work & politics.
  3. Women are still less likely to state that equality is achieved than men.
  4. Globally, Ireland sits marginally lower on gender equality at home (-4%) & in politics (-4%) than the global average of 70% & 50% respectively. We are at par of global level for equality at work (59%).

Job opportunities and career

  1. Just below half (46%) in Ireland think that women have more or the same opportunities as men. This perception is weaker among females and those aged 55+.
  2. Ireland is below the global average (51%) at 46%.


  1. Experience of violence in the past year drops (-2%) compared to 2020.
  2. However, 1 in 10 women still state to have faced either physical or psychological violence in 2021. The incidence is also higher amongst the 18–34-year-olds (17%).
  3. Compared to 2020, the incidences of violence are lower in Munster region.
  4. Globally, Ireland sits behind the global average (-5%).

Sexual Harassment

  1. Incidence of sexual harassment remains at the same level as last year. Women & younger adults among those who are more likely to have faced sexual harassment in the last year.
  2. Overall 1 in 4 women aged 18-34 claim to have experienced sexual harassment in the past year.
  3. On a global level, Ireland is at par with the global norm of 6%.


Sinead Mooney, Managing Director of RED C Research said:

“The results of this year’s WIN Worldwide survey on Gender Equality suggest much still needs to be done in Ireland to combat discrimination and violence towards women. Levels of sexual harassment against women aged 18-34 in Ireland remain a real problem, while many women feel there is less equality in home, office or politics than there was a year ago.”



  1. Achievements in Gender Equality
  • When considering different environments where to measure the level of gender equality, home is still the place where equal rights are perceived the most, just like in previous years. In 2021, 70% of the global population believes gender equality has been achieved at home, however, there is also a slight but constant decrease when comparing the last three years (from 72% to 71% to 70%).
  • Globally, 60% of the population believes gender equality has been achieved in workplaces, but it is indeed the political sphere once again the most difficult environment for men and women to be considered equal: half of the population thinks gender equality has been achieved in politics, a share that slightly decreases compared to last year results (from 48% in 2019 to 51% in 2020 and 50% in 2021).
  • The countries where the highest net indexes in gender equity have been obtained are Vietnam (69 points), Finland (75 points) and the Philippines (74 points), for work, politics, and home, respectively. On the other hand, the lowest net indexes are obtained by Italy in work (-22 points), Japan in politics (-51) and Kenya at home (-22 points).


  1. Job opportunities and career
  • Having established that 60% of the population believes gender equality has been achieved at work, the survey deep dives for the first time this year into some more specifical questions about equal job opportunities and careers. On a total level, 37% of the population believes that women have the same opportunities than men when it comes to jobs and career achievements, a share that is interestingly a bit lower among females themselves (32%). Most of the population, both on a total level and within females, believes women have less opportunities than men (total: 45%; among women: 55%). There is also a minor share of the respondents (14% of the total population, 10% among females) who believes women have more opportunities.
  • Europe and Americas seem to be the most critical regions in the world, as 55% and 52% of the respondents respectively believe women have less opportunities than men at jobs; women having the same opportunities is, on the other hand, an opinion widely shared in APAC, where 48% of the population believes it, +11% than global average.


  1. Violence
  • At a global level, results about women experiencing physical or psychological violence are unfortunately stable compared to previous years: 16% in 2021, 17% in 2020, 16% in 2019. However, when analyzing data by regions, some small improvements can be found in Africa, MENA, APAC and Americas the net index about women experiencing violence in the past year decreases by -7, -5, -2 and -1 respectively.
  • Young women aged 18 to 24 experience the highest incidence of physical and psychological violence (22%) although the share decreases by two points compared to last year. Likewise, women who have reached only full primary school are more likely to say they experienced violence (20%), and the same goes for female students among other occupational groups (20%).
  • Regarding the results by country, women in Ecuador report a sharp increase in the levels of violence (from 14% to 24%); the same happens in Mexico (from 32% to 36%) and Brazil from 24% to 28%. Greece also shows a high level of violence against women (32%).


  1. Sexual harassment
  • The trend about women who experienced sexual harassment is also almost stable: 9% of women interviewed worldwide suffered sexual harassment in the last year, compared to 8% of the previous year.
  • Young women from 18 to 24 years are the ones who have suffered the most from sexual harassment compared to other age groups, even one point more than the previous year (19% in 2021 and 18% in 2020).
  • On a brightest note, Africa seems to have reduced the share of women who experienced sexual harassment, with a share that decreases by 4 percentage points (from 8% to 4%). However, in the Americas, victims of sexual harassment keep being 16% just like last year.
  • The countries where women report the highest percentages of sexual harassment in 2021 are Mexico (26%), Ecuador (24%) and Chile (22%). While the Philippines (1%), China (1%) and Croatia (1%) are the countries with the lowest percentages. Ecuador has suffered a sharp increase in sexual harassment (from 15% to 24%) also Chile (from 18% to 22%) and Argentina (from 11% to 15%). India surprises with a reduction from 29% to 16% and Hong Kong from 13% to 9%.


Vilma Scarpino, President of WIN International Association, said:

“Reaching equal opportunities and rights for men and women, as well as reducing the level of violence experienced, is an effort that needs to be encouraged by many different actors within society, men and women together, and in different environments, as the WIN World Survey shows. Gender equality at home does not imply that the same equality has been achieved at work or in politics, not even in the same country. This points towards the need to involve as many actors as possible in promoting and encouraging equality. And it is not only about involving different actors, but it is also about acting on different levels too: gender equality is an international goal that needs to be faced also from a local and a national level, as shown by differences and slight improvements in some countries when it comes violence experienced.”

Media enquiries:



Sinead Mooney, Managing Director, RED C Research

Derek Bell, Project Manager, RED C Research




Elena Crosilla, WIN Coordinator

+39 335.62.07.347





The survey was conducted in 39 countries using CAWI / online survey methods.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

A total of 33,236 people were interviewed. See below for sample details. The fieldwork was conducted during 15th October 2021 and 18th December 2021. The margin of error for the survey is between 4.4 and 2.5 at 95% confidence level.

The global average has been computed according to the covered adult population of the surveyed countries.

In Ireland, a representative sample of over 1020 adults were conducted online. Fieldwork was conducted in November 2021.

Download the reports below:

Gender Equality 2022 – Irish Summary Results

Gender Equality 2022 Press Release