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NWCI welcomes focus on care in Citizens Assembly on gender equality

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today welcomed the establishment of a new citizens’ assembly to bring forward proposals on gender equality, tasked with discussing the remaining barriers facilitating gender discrimination in Ireland.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“For nearly a year, NWCI has been calling on the Government to establish a Citizens Assembly on care, before committing to a referendum on Article 41.2, women in the home. NWCI knows this Article invokes broad issues around care and its role and value in society, so we welcome the Citizens Assembly as the most appropriate form to allow for a broad public discussion on care, carers and those who receive care and the role of the Constitution in valuing care in all its forms. The particular pieces in relation to care included in the terms of reference, namely a recognition of the importance of early years parental care, work life balance, and shared responsibility for care between men and women, are especially important. It is crucial that this Citizens Assembly leads to specific outcomes on care, including a commitment to hold a referendum on Article 41.2, women in the home, in 2020.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“NWCI was not expecting the terms of reference to be broader than the issue of care. If this is the Government’s decision, it is crucial that the Assembly deals with the critical barriers to gender equality that face women in Ireland today, in particular including the housing and homeless crisis and the epidemic of violence against women. In examining all of these issues, it is critical that the voices and experiences of women are at the centre of all discussions. NWCI will be raising these points with the Government.”

“Ireland now has good experience with deliberative forums such as the Citizens Assembly and Constitutional Convention, so we know that they can only work if they’re faced with clear decisions that lead to specific outcomes, to make a real difference to women’s lives.”


For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 085 8619087.