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9th July 2019 | Caring

Amend ‘women in the home’ article to support caring work: Greens

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Party Welcomes Report on Caring and Unpaid Work by IHREC & ESRI

Speaking on the launch of IHREC and the ESRI’s report on “Caring and Unpaid Work in Ireland”, Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin TD said: “Many of the findings in this report will come as no surprise to the 200,000 plus carers in Ireland – it will reflect the challenges they have faced in seeking support for their care needs. The responsibility of care all too often falls to families without adequate choice, respite or support. This model of care needs to change as it is completely unfair and totally unsustainable.

The undervaluing of care work and the State’s willingness to leave the responsibility of care with families show the need for us to give greater consideration to a referendum on Article 41.2. To simply remove this article would be a missed opportunity – we should seek to amend it, removing the archaic gendered language, and recognising the invaluable work of carers in terms of gender equality.”

Green Party Spokesperson for Equality Cllr Una Power said: “There remains a clear gap between women and men when it comes to unpaid work, with women taking on greater levels of care work. We need to address this disparity by tackling the underlying causes such as the lack of meaningful paid parental leave for fathers, the disparity in pay levels between men and women for paid work, and issues in employment flexibility.  The forthcoming Citizen’s Assembly on Gender Equality must be used as an opportunity to address these issues and ensure both women and men are afforded support.”

Cllr Pauline O’Reilly, Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, said: “Caring is not something to be eliminated from society but cherished and valued. Who are we as a society when we do not support the most vulnerable and those giving their time to care for the most vulnerable? Carers and the cared for should be recognised in the Constitution but also given practical support. Carer’s Allowance is €219 per week for those who are caring full-time which is next to unaffordable and many families have no allowance. It is therefore extremely difficult for families to keep their heads above water. We need to further financially support carers so that we put the well-being of society first.”