The references to women, work and their “duties” at home that Ireland plans to remove from its Constitution

People celebrate the result of the referendum on the liberalization of the abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, on May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne (REUTERS/)

Ireland plans to hold a referendum in November to remove references to a woman’s place in the home from its constitution., announced the government on Wednesday. While there has been a wave of social change in Irish history as the once deeply Catholic nation has seen the 86-year-old constitution amended in recent years to remove bans on abortion and allow same-sex marriage, “old-fashioned” references to the role of women in society will remain.

Article 41.2 says that the State recognizes that “by her life within the home, the woman gives the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved” and? “Mothers will not be forced by economic necessity to dedicate themselves to work in neglect of their duties at home.”

A citizens’ assembly, a forum used to debate possible constitutional changes, in 2021 recommended removing those references and replacing them with gender-neutral and non-discriminatory language.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan)
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (REUTERS/Lorraine O’Sullivan) (LORRAINE O’SULLIVAN/)

Any kind of constitutional change in Ireland must be approved by popular vote and both the referendum to liberalize highly restrictive abortion laws as well as allow same-sex marriage passed by large majorities.

“I am pleased to announce that the government plans to hold a referendum to amend our Constitution to enshrine gender equality and remove the outdated reference to ‘women in the home’”Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in a statement on Wednesday as the world celebrated International Women’s Day.

“For too long, women and girls have shouldered a disproportionate share of caregiving responsibilities, been discriminated against at home and in the workplace, been objectified, or lived in fear of domestic or gender-based violence” he added.


Women’s Day: this is the panorama of gender violence in Colombia

The story of Lilith, the first woman of humanity