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5th September 2018 | Childcare, Community, Equality, Press Releases

Martin: Give ‘Women in the Home’ referendum its deserved Oireachtas scrutiny

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Speaking ahead of the Oireachtas Justice Committee meeting on Wednesday 5th September to discuss Minister Charlie Flanagan’s request to waive pre-legislative scrutiny for the constitutional referendum on Art 41.2, the ‘Women in the Home’ referendum, Green Party Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin Rathdown Catherine Martin said:

“We need to have a thorough conversation on the place of caring work in our society and seek to enshrine it in our Constitution. Pre-legislative scrutiny should be the absolute minimum requirement for the proposed referendum, and we need to seize this opportunity to have a proper discussion around recognising the intrinsic value and contribution of caring to our society.

“Government is insisting on rushing this referendum, but in their rush they may risk losing it. Nobody could argue that the current provision is not sexist, and therefore needs to change. However, it would be a missed opportunity and a retrograde step to proceed with a simple deletion rather than amending the provision to recognise the importance of carers in our society, and their contribution to the common good. The Constitutional Convention voted in the majority (88%) for valuing care in society instead of simple deletion of this article, and I hope the members of the Justice Committee will echo their call.”

“The Green Party are supporting a gender-neutral amendment to the provision, over a simple deletion.”

Green Party Spokesperson on Children, Pauline O’Reilly, said:

“We would hope that the Justice Committee will insist on pre-legislative scrutiny and allow the Oireachtas to have this debate and tease out the issues, like was done for the 8th Amendment referendum. We should follow that model, and allow a Special Oireachtas Committee to consult with relevant stakeholders, to examine the issue in detail, and make recommendations. Government is rushing this process in an attempt to get an easy referendum win.”