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Constitutional Convention to vote on amending 'women in home' clause

At its second meeting, the convention is looking at Article 41.2, which recognises woman’s life within the home and how it supports the State.

THE SO-CALLED ‘woman in the home’ clause in the Irish constitution will be voted on by the Constitutional Convention tomorrow.

Today saw expert presentation and engagement by delegates, which will be continued tomorrow before the Constitutional Convention votes on whether to alter the clause in the Constitution which places special emphasis on the place of women in the home.

In addition, it will hold a ballot on proposed measures to increase the participation of women in political and public life. During today’s event, the Convention heard from groups including the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Cúram, the 50/50 Group and Women for Election on the issue.

They also had group discussions and feedback sessions with the Convention’s delegates and heard presentations from academic experts in this sector.

Article 41.2

The discussion surrounds Article 41.2 in the Constitution, which states: “In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieve.

“The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to neglect of their duties in the home.”

Chairperson of the Constitutional Convention, Tom Arnold said:

Our Constitution gives special prominence to the place of the women in the home. Today, we heard a range of opinions which sought to find the optimum way to adapt this clause making it more relevant to contemporary Ireland.
We also examined ways of facilitating greater participation of women in public life and politics. Currently, women are hugely under-represented in these areas. While most felt this needed to be challenged, the exact nature of this will be decided by a ballot tomorrow.

At the first meeting of the convention last month, it voted in favour of lowering the voting age to 16. It also opposed reducing the presidential term.

If you would like to watch the convention tomorrow, the proceedings will be streamed live at: https://www.constitution.ie/OnlineStreaming.aspx

Read: Poll: Should the Constitution’s ‘women in the home’ clause be amended?>

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