- 06 Jul 18
The Irish government has greenlighted a referendum which would seek to remove a constitutional reference that a woman's place "is in the home".
Expected to take place on October 26th, the nation will also be asked to vote on whether to treat blasphemy as a criminal offence.
Article 41.2.1 of the constitution states that: "By her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved".
It then goes onto say that "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."
The inclusion of the clause reflects an Ireland that had held rigidly conservative views. An Ireland that sought to force women away from employment and into the role of motherhood. An Ireland that we have striven to leave behind.
With the success of the recent referendum earlier this year to repeal the Eighth Amendment, as well as affording same-sex couple the right to marry in 2015, Ireland is continuously moving forward and becoming a shining example of modernity.
Regarding the upcoming vote, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan issued a statement saying that "In this - the centenary year of the extension of voting rights to women - the Government believes it is an appropriate time to propose the deletion of Article 41.2 and to use the opportunity of the referendum to have a public debate about gender equality in Ireland."
He added that such a clause "has no place in our Constitution. It undermines today's goal to achieve real gender equality by ensuring women have real choices about what to do with their lives."