Bacik Calls for Clarity on Wording of Gender Equality Referendum

22nd November 2023

Posted In: Be In The Frame

Speaking recently in response to reports that the Gender Equality Referendum is likely to proceed in March 2024, Deputy Ivana Bacik has called on the Government to provide clarity on the proposed wording.

Deputy Bacik said: “I welcome the announcement that a date is being proposed at last for this long-awaited referendum to replace the sexist and outdated language relating to women and mothers in Article 41 of our Constitution. I am also glad to see that it may take place on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2024.

“However, as Chairperson of the Oireachtas Special Committee on Gender Equality, I am concerned at reports which suggest that the wording to be put to the people next March will not be aligned with the recommendations of our Committee or of the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality.

“We had proposed a replacement of the gendered text in Article 41 with text which would have provided for a valuing of care both inside and outside the home, and we do not see that reflected in the reports on the government’s proposed wording. We had also sought an expansion of the definition of ‘Family’ in Article 41, to extend beyond families based on marriage. I am very concerned to see no reference to that change being included in the referendum proposed for next March.

“I am now calling on the government to provide clarity on the wording for the referendum as a matter of urgency, and to ensure that it will not be so restrictive on defining care, and that it will include provision for an expanded definition of family, to reflect the real diversity in Irish society today.”

According to press reports, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he would be able to provide wording of the referenda next Tuesday.