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NWCI welcomes ‘long-overdue’ referendum on Women in the Home

Published: Thursday, July 05, 2018

NWCI today welcomed the announcement by Government to hold a referendum in October to delete Article 41.2 of the Constitution and remove a clause referring to a woman’s place in the home. NWCI also welcomed the commitment to hold a Citizens Assembly on the issue of 'care'.  

Orla O'Connor, Director of NWCI said, 
“The referendum on removing the sexist and outdated Article 41 from our Constitution is long overdue. Language which ascribes a woman’s life as in the home has never reflected the complexity of women’s lives, nor has it ever given women any legal protection despite its expressed intentions.” 
“Article 41 fails women, as it does not encompass the reality and diversity of women’s lives. The highly gendered language fails men by not recognising their work as carers, or the duties and responsibilities men have to be carers. Furthermore by only referencing care in the home, it also fails society by not recognising the different types of care, in the community as well as with family members and friends.”  
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chairperson of NWCI said,  
“NWCI recommended, and the Constitutional Convention endorsed, a constitutional amendment which would insert a broad, inclusive symbolic statement about the importance of care and care work done by both women and men in Irish society. Ireland has never valued the role of care in our society. As proposals announced today are for a straight deletion, NWCI welcomes the Government's public commitment for a separate deliberative process in the form of a Citizens' Assembly that would look at the issue of 'care'."
"Valuing care and care work both paid and unpaid is critical for the well being of all people in our society. NWCI has campaigned over decades for care to be recognised and included in our economic and social policies. Failing to do so has resulted in significant inequalities for women in Ireland."
Orla O'Connor concluded,  
“A Citizens' Assembly dedicated to the issue of care provides a welcome opportunity for a comprehensive discussion to take place and the potential to develop better policies and legislation for all. Removing article 41 is a recognition of women’s equal status in Irish society and a start to a broader discussion of both womens and men’s full roles in our society." 
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For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, Tel. 085 858 9104.