Ireland releases draft wording for referendums on recognizing the value of caregiving and expanding the definition of 'family' in the constitution

By Aoife Moore, 6 December 2023
Flag of Ireland (photo credit: TheDigitalArtist via pixabay)
Flag of Ireland (photo credit: TheDigitalArtist via pixabay)
Two referendums to change Ireland’s constitution regarding gender and family will be held on 8 March 2024. The government has approved the draft wording for the two proposed changes, which will provide for a wider concept of family and women’s role in society. To be held on International Women's Day, the amendments will “reinforce the fact that Ireland is a modern, inclusive nation strives to treat and care for all its people equally,” Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar said. The General Scheme of the Thirty-Ninth Amendment of the Constitution Bill (the Family amendment) proposes to insert the words “whether founded on marriage or on other durable relationships”. The current protection afforded to families under the constitution, as currently written, only extends to married families. These proposals extend this constitutional right to other lasting relationships and puts them on an equal footing with married families, according to the government. [...] Announcing the referendums, Mr Varadkar said: “Our constitution will continue its history protecting both the family and the institution of marriage. "Repurposing the wording, however, acknowledges the families may also be founded on lasting relationships other than marriage. "For example, a family headed by a lone parent, or a family headed by a grandparent or guardian all of us know people who are committed to each other in a loving relationship over a sustained period of time, who are not married.” The General Scheme of the Fortieth Amendment of the Constitution Bill (the Care amendment) proposes to delete the wording: “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”. It will insert the following wording: “The state recognises that the provision of care, by members of a family to one another by reason of the bonds that exist among them, gives to society a support without which the common good cannot be achieved, and shall strive to support such provision.” This article of the constitution is commonly referred to as a section about the “woman’s place is in the home”, which campaigners have long called for the removal of.
Read the full article here: BBC


Post new comment