Citizens' Assembly votes in favour of scrapping 'woman in the home' Constitution clause

The clause has been called sexist and outdated
Citizens' Assembly votes in favour of scrapping 'woman in the home' Constitution clause

The constitutional clause on women’s place being in the home should be replaced by a recognition of the value of care within the home and the wider community, according to the Citizens' Assembly.

Article 41.2 currently states: “In particular the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.

“The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

This clause has been described as both sexist and outdated.

All 99 members of the assembly also voted in favour of recognising all forms of families in the Constitution, not only families based on marriage.

Election quotas

The assembly also recommended quotas being introduced for all elections in the State.

The National Women’s Council welcomed the recommendation to replace the “sexist and outdated” article 41.2.

Orla O'Connor, director of the group, said it will “send a strong and clear signal to Government and all decision makers that women’s equality needs to be at the centre of our Constitution, our legislation and our policies.

“The recommendations have the potential to really transform women and girls’ lives in this country and include the key elements that we need to achieve gender equality. We call on the Government to prioritise their implementation without delay.”

Childcare

The Citizens' Assembly also recommended a bigger State role in the provision of care, with a public childcare model and improved pay and conditions for childcare workers.

Ms O'Connor called on the Government to hold a referendum next year to change the Constitution in line with the Citizens' Assembly recommendations.

The assembly met over six weekends under the chairwomanship of Catherine Day.

Ms Day is the former secretary general of the European Commission.

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