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    “ One man one job ” : the marriage ban and the employment of women teachers in Irish primary schools

    Redmond, Jennifer and Harford, Judith (2010) “ One man one job ” : the marriage ban and the employment of women teachers in Irish primary schools. Paedagogica Historica, 45 (5). pp. 639-654. ISSN 0030-9230

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    In 1932, the Irish government, facing an economic downturn, introduced a marriage ban which required that female primary school teachers were required to resign on marriage. This followed a series of restrictive legislative measures adopted by Irish governments throughout the 1920s which sought to limit women’s participation in public life and the public sector. Such a requirement emerged in several countries in response to high unemployment and applied principally to women’s white-collar occupations, leading some commentators to argue that it stemmed from a social consensus rather than an economic rationale. Despite opposition to the ban from the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) on the basis that it was unconstitutional, would lead to fewer marriages and that married women were in fact more suited to teaching children, it remained in place until 1958. Although the ban is much referred to as part of the gender ideology that informed legislation in the early years of independent Ireland, the particular history of married women teachers has been little researched in the academic context. Over 50 years since the rescinding of the ban, this article examines its impact through an analysis of primary sources, including government cabinet minutes and the public commentary of the INTO and positions this history within the international context.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: marriage ban; teaching; primary schools; women;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History
    Item ID: 4806
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Jennifer Redmond
    Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 11:51
    Journal or Publication Title: Paedagogica Historica
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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