- A general increase in the standard of living continued from the 1960s. There was wider access to education, good housing, motor cars, television, foreign travel, good food and health services for most women and men.
- Women achieved a measure of independence never before recorded in historic times in Ireland.
- Life expectancy at birth rose for women from 71.9 years in 1960 to 78.5 in 1996 and for men from 68.1 years in 1960 to 73 in 1996.
- Girls got slightly better examination results on average than boys. The proportion of females at third level rose from about 25% in 1950 to 55% in 1998.
- Crime and violence became matters for increased concern. There were 66 females under sentence in prison custody on 1 June 2001 and 2,639 males. On that date 4 females and 118 males were serving life sentences.
- A decline in religious vocations began in the 1960s and had several implications, including a smaller proportion of women in management in education and health services.
- The proportion of women in positions of authority in Ireland gave cause for concern. For instance, in 1998 only 5% of university professors were women and 16% of judges - both figures low by EU standards.
- Governments have shown reluctance to deal effectively with the problem of childcare and such provisions as exist are generally considered to lag behind international best practice.
- List five important consequences of the general increase in the standard of living since the 1960s.
- Identify and briefly discuss the consequences of any one of the trends mentioned above.
- Discuss two other trends you identify as significant during the period from 1970-1990.
- What do you think historians of the 22nd century will write about the contribution of the present generation of Irish girls and women to Irish Society?
- What do you think historians of the 22nd century will write about the contribution of the present generation of Irish boys and men to Irish Society?
- Identify the two most important political or social problems your generation needs to tackle first and give reasons for your choice.
- Write an essay on 'The modern gender debate'.
- Refer to Later modern Ireland for further information.
- Organise a class debate on one of the following motions:
- That women's lives were better on average in 1950 than in 1990.
- That equality for women has benefited society.
- That equality for women has demanded too high a price from society.
- That independent women make good use of their lives.