The Green Party have welcomed the decision by the Oireachtas Business Committee to insist Government legislation to delete Article 41.2 of the Constitution must undergo pre-legislative scrutiny. A referendum to delete the reference to the ‘woman’s place in the home’ will likely be delayed as a result.
The Greens support a gender-neutral amendment to the provision, over a simple deletion.
Speaking in response to the decision, Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin TD said that there was a sense the Government was rushing the referendum, and pre-legislative scrutiny and debate is welcome.
“The proposed referendum presents an opportunity to recognise the intrinsic value and contribution of caring to our society which is what the Constitutional Convention voted for in the majority (88%). 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.”
Green Party Spokesperson on Children, Pauline O’Reilly, said: “We’re glad that the Business Committee is insisting on pre-legislative scrutiny. 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. You get the sense the Government is rushing this process in an attempt to get an easy referendum win.”
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