FLAC backs Yes-No vote in upcoming referendums

FLAC backs Yes-No vote in upcoming referendums

FLAC has given its backing to only one of the two proposed constitutional amendments being put to voters next month, describing the wording of the proposed care amendment as “implicitly sexist”.

The independent human rights and equality organisation today set out its legal analysis of the extent to which the proposed amendments will deliver “enforceable rights, stronger obligations on the State and positive, practical improvements”.

It believes the family amendment “will ultimately have positive policy and legal implications (in areas like social welfare, family, taxation, and succession law) which will lead to practical improvements in the lives of diverse families that are found by the courts to come within the definition of ‘durable relationships’”.

However, it believes the care amendment is “unlikely to have a tangible positive impact on law and policy” while giving “constitutional expression to harmful stereotypes”.

“Like the explicitly sexist so-called ‘women in the home’ provision, the proposed Article 42B endorses a status quo where women undertake the bulk of unpaid care work and places no obligation whatsoever on the State to redress this gender imbalance — rendering it an implicitly sexist amendment,” it said.

FLAC has criticised the government for rushing the proposed wordings through the Oireachtas and for breaking with the proposals of the citizens’ assembly and an Oireachtas committee without a clear explanation.

It also said that, having provided a legal analysis, it will not actively participate in the referendum campaigns.

The family and care referendums will take place simultaneously on 8 March 2024. More information about the referendums can be found on the Electoral Commission website.

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