Irish leader admits ‘housewife’ and family amendments fail


Irish government admits defeat on Saturday In two referendums to amend the constitution, harsh condemnation The governing coalition is seeking to update the language around the role of women and how the modern Irish family is defined.

The vote, held on International Women’s Day on Friday, featured two proposals to amend the 1937 constitution. On Saturday afternoon, even before the vote count was completed, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said it was clear the referendum had been a “total failure”.

“It’s difficult for us to convince people of the need or the need for a referendum, let alone the details and the wording. That’s obviously something we have to reflect on,” Varadkar told reporters at Dublin Castle. “Obviously, we were wrong.”

There was widespread support for removing an outdated provision on the importance of women’s “family life”, but concerns were raised about the wording proposed to replace it. The second question proposed broadening the definition of family to include “enduring relationships,” but was opposed by voters on both the left and the right.

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The most talked-about part of the Irish constitution is the clause that states: “Mothers shall not be compelled by economic necessity to engage in labor in such a way that they neglect their duties in the family.”

Former Irish President Mary McAleese said parts of the constitution were “severely aging”. She said the “housewife” clause was “no longer suitable for an Ireland keen to promote gender equality”.

Once a deeply conservative country and one of the poorest in Western Europe, Ireland has become a socially liberal country in recent decades. In 1995, a vote legalized divorce; in 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized; in 2018, the country overturned abortion ban.

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The government initially thought this month’s referendum would be easy to pass. But analysts said confusion over the wording of the amendment and a lackluster government campaign ultimately led to failure.

Thomas Finn, a history lecturer at the University of Galway, said there had been “a desire for a long time to have this language removed from the constitution”.

“But the question is,” he said, “what should replace it?”

Finn said the government might have been more successful if it proposed removing parts of the constitution it considered outdated or sexist.

To replace provisions on mothers’ responsibilities at home, the government drafted a gender-neutral provision that said the state would “endeavour” to support “family members in providing mutual care”.

Because of, disability rights advocate Aim for a “no” vote. They said the new text showed that the responsibility for caring for dependents rested primarily with the family. They believe that the state has the first responsibility to care for all citizens equally.

“In general, keeping it simple is the best advice when running a referendum,” Gail McElroy, professor of politics at Trinity College Dublin, wrote in an email on Saturday.

She said the government had complicated messaging by holding two referendums on the same day and pairing one proposal to remove text with another to add language in separate clauses.

Still, McElroy said the results “will not result in effective changes to women’s rights in Ireland; the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.”

Ireland ranks relatively high on the gender equality index.World Economic Forum 2023 Report global gender gap Ireland ranks 11th; the United States ranks 43rd.

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Regarding another referendum question, this one concerns the so-called “family amendment” The government wants the constitution to recognize that families can be based on relationships other than marriage, such as unmarried parents, single parents or grandparents.

“I hope a ‘yes’ vote shows that all families are equal,” Varadkar said in an article recent interviews. Varadkar is in a same-sex relationship but is not yet married.

“This is about ensuring that all families in Ireland, whatever their shape and size, are equal,” he said.

more than 40% of children In Ireland, birth is out of wedlock.

irish catholic bishop Opposed the amendment, saying it “reduces the unique importance of marriage and family relationships in the eyes of society and the state, and may lead to less incentive for young people to get married.”

Other critics have raised concerns about the term “enduring relationship,” which they say is unclear and could have unforeseen legal consequences.

Attorney and former Attorney General Michael McDowell also said he voted against it.

“Everyone knows if they are married,” he wrote in one post. postal on his website.

“No one knows who is or is not in a ‘lasting relationship’ unless a court in a contested case determines that the relationship is ‘lasting,'” he continued. “No one knows how and when an ‘enduring relationship’ between two adults legally ends.”





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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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