Speaking after the Dáil Business Committee rejected the Government’s attempt to railroad through a Bill to remove the ‘Women in the Home’ article of the Constitution, co leader of the Social Democrats and member of the committee Róisín Shortall TD said:
“The Government is shirking its responsibility to implement the decisions of the Constitutional Convention which proposed a series of alternatives and additions to the article on women in the home. It is disrespectful to the processes that the Government has established to modernise our Constitution and to those citizens who were part of the process.”
The Convention voted that Article 41.2.1 should be amended to include all those who are involved in caring relationships in the home and voted by large majorities for explicit provisions on gender equality and for a positive duty on the State to increase women’s participation in politics and public life.
“The Government, by proposing to rush through a simple repeal and hiding behind the fig-leaf of ‘legal advice’ are squandering the opportunity to have a much needed and serious discussion on the position of women in the State, in public and political life, and in how we value caring relationships in our families and communities”.
“If ever there was a time for the Government to give space and proper consideration to updating the Constitution to make it meaningful for contemporary Ireland, it is surely now, in the aftermath of a referendum campaign that has seen huge numbers of people examine the role of women in Irish life”.