Referendum plan to remove ‘woman’s place in the home’ from Constitution

Referendum plan to remove 'woman's place in the home' from Constitution

Leo Varadkar

A long-promised referendum to remove references to “woman’s place in the home” from the Constitution will take place this November, the government has announced.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and children, equality, disability, integration and youth minister Roderic O’Gorman made the announcement today to mark International Women’s Day 2023.

The general scheme of “one or more” referendum bills will be published by the end of June to allow the referendum to take place in November.

Mr Varadkar said: “For too long, women and girls have carried a disproportionate share of caring responsibilities, been discriminated against at home and in the workplace, objectified or lived in fear of domestic or gender-based violence.

“I am pleased to announce that the government plans to hold a referendum this November to amend our Constitution to enshrine gender equality and to remove the outmoded reference to ‘women in the home’, in line with the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality.”

Mr O’Gorman added: “I commend the Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality and the membership of the recent special Oireachtas committee on gender equality for their work to advance these difficult and sensitive issues.

“My Department will very shortly be convening an inter-departmental committee to develop policy recommendations for consideration by Government, with a view to agreement by government of wording for the proposed referenda.”

An Coimisiún Toghcháin, Ireland’s newly established Electoral Commission, said it would be “leading the work nationally on explaining the issues to be voted on in November’s gender equality referendum, and promoting people’s participation”.

November’s proposed referendum will be the first where the Electoral Commission takes the lead in oversight, secretariat and supporting services associated with explaining the referendum proposals, the promotion of public awareness of the referendum and encouraging the electorate to vote at referendum polls.

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