Referendum the first step in reordering gender imbalance
8th March 2023 - Fine Gael Press Office
The referendum on gender equality is an important first step in reordering the gender imbalance that still exists in many aspects of our society, Fine Gael members of the Special Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality have said.
Senator Regina Doherty said: “International Women’s Day is about celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women in all walks of life.
“It’s about our collective journey toward – we hope – gender equality. But it’s not just about equality; it’s about equity.
“Equality means providing the same to all and treating everyone the same. It’s what any of us would want for our society. Equity, on the other hand, recognises that we do not all start from the same place. It recognises, in this context, that women have always had to overcome barriers which have often been placed in our way due to societal biases or interpretations of what a woman’s role is.
Senator Doherty said: “The Taoiseach’s announcement of the referendum on the reference to ‘women in the home’ and the redefining of what a family is in today’s modern Irish society is an important first step and shows bona fides in this Government’s commitment.
“Women have been listening to platitudes on this issue for many, many years. We will wait no more and expect a reorder of the imbalance that exists in so many aspects of society.
“This requires leadership – not just from women but from the men who love and respect us. So let’s get started and ensure the next generation of women do not have to put up with the antiquated nonsense so many before them have had to endure.”
Deputy Ciaran Cannon, who also sat on the committee, said: “Every now and again we need to look at our constitution to ensure it reflects our modern values.
“The article in question harks back to another time, a time when women’s role was seriously undervalued.
“We are committed to taking measures to tackle inequality in our society and this referendum will help us enshrine gender equality and help modernise our constitution.”
A Special Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality was established and met from December 2021 to consider the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations, together with the Government’s response.
This Committee concluded its work and published its final report last December. In this report, the Committee set out its own recommendations and an action plan, including recommendations for a referendum or referendums on Articles 40 and 41 of the Constitution.
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