The OECD’s latest ‘Better Life Index’ shows that Irish women have a better overall quality of life than men when a range of different factors is taken into account.

This tends to overturn the conventional wisdom that men overall have a better quality of life in Ireland than women.

The factors listed in the report include: life satisfaction; employment; health; education; social support; and work/life balance.

The report shows that men are more likely than women to be in paid employment (64 percent vs 58 percent respectively).

However, clearly this is not the only or even the main measure of well-being and quality of life.

What the report also finds is that women report slightly higher levels of life satisfaction than men, live longer, are better educated, less likely to be victims of violent crime, and are slightly more likely than men to report they have the right kind of social support in their lives.

A focus on the number of men and women in paid employment does not accurately capture the real differences between men and women.

A focus on paid employment and average pay levels assumes that as many women as men want to work full-time and ignores the fact that many women choose a different work/life balance than men. Read more on the Iona blog

David Quinn is the Director of the Iona Institute iin Dublin. He is a well known journalist who specialises in religious and social affairs. Currently he has columns in both The Irish Independent and The...