- 08 Mar 23
Although an official date has yet to be confirmed, the referendum is expected to be held sometime in November.
The news was confirmed this morning that a referendum relating to women's issues is due to take place later this year.
The referendum will focus on amendments to Article 40 and 41 of the Constitution which relates to the ‘women’s life in the home’ phrase, which has been recommended to be deleted and replaced.
The announcement, made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this morning, stated that the decision to hold the referendum came after recommendations from both the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality and a special Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality.
The Constitution which has been in place since 1937, is also recommended changes to refer explicitly to gender equality and non-discrimination.
In order to agree on proposals, the government has also announced that an interdepartmental group will be established this month.
"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," Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said.
He continued: "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."
Whilst the intended changes to the constitution's phrasing are a promising step towards the rightful recognition of women's place in Irish society, the referendum announcement fails to hold the significant amount of weight intended.
Taking the current housing crisis into account, it is women who are overwhelmingly disadvantaged, considering the difference in their routes in and out of homelessness when compared to their male counterparts. This number intensifies with single, migrant and women of colour.
A report published in 2018 by the National Women's Council of Ireland highlighted that 42% of women account for the homeless population in Ireland, with that number rising to 44% in the Dublin area alone.