Ireland: Female drinking stereotypes tackled after eye-opening study
By Justin Kelly
March 7, 2022
On International Women’s Day, Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce the misuse of alcohol in Ireland, is highlighting and celebrating the positive changes women have made in their attitudes to alcohol.
This comes amid an eye-opening report that showed more than half of women report drinking as a coping mechanism.
A Drinkaware statement said: “As a nation, we have faced an incredibly stressful time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we know that in stressful times, alcohol is often used as a coping tool. Women have borne the brunt of this crisis, facing disproportionate job losses and significant increases in unpaid care.
“Just over half of women (55%) report drinking for coping reasons. However, Irish women are actively looking to make positive, healthy changes. To date, 38% of women have made small positive changes to their drinking habits.”
The statement goes on to say “women are also more aware of the low-risk weekly guidelines for alcohol. Albeit small at 5% (vs the national average of 2%), it demonstrates the beginning of change in not only habits, but attitudes towards alcohol.”
“Women are also more likely to embrace moderation techniques, such as 38% of women attempting to alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a soft drink. The first steps are often the most difficult, and Drinkaware applauds women ready to make a change.”
CEO of Drinkaware, Sheena Horgan commented: “Media portrayals often perpetuate a stereotype of female drinkers, but Drinkaware research shows that Irish women are taking an active role in their relationships to alcohol, making positive first steps towards drinking less.
“To support women in their journeys to a healthy lifestyle, Drinkaware invites them to take full advantage of our free resources. With over 20,000 uses in the past month, the Drinkaware Drinks Calculator is a free and easy tool that can demonstrate alcohol content, calorie content and money spent on alcohol. It is a popular and accessible tool that will help more women make changes to their drinking habits today.”