Care givers must be recognised in any constitutional change – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Speaking this afternoon after a meeting of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD welcomed the decision to undertake pre-legislative scrutiny on a referendum on article 41.2 of the constitution.
Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;
“The Government is pursuing this referendum with undue haste, and is not adequately taking on board the widely held view that the article should be replaced with a gender neutral provision giving recognition to care work.
“This is a view held by Sinn Féin, but also by the National Women's Council, the Constitutional Convention, the Constitutional Review group, the UN Human Rights Committee, and the The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
“In that context, surely the least that we can do as a Dáil is to give an opportunity and a forum for those views to be expressed and considered.
“The referendum should not be rushed and it is right that pre-legislative scrutiny would take place given the importance of properly considering constitutional change.
“Sinn Féin are in agreement that the language of Article 41.2 as it currently stands has no place in our constitution as it is archaic and sexist in nature.
"But we must also acknowledge that we need to put the right question to the people.
“Sinn Féin holds equality as one of its core values, and wishes to see change that encourages the fair treatment of all, but not changes which are rushed.
"Care, and care work, is an essential component in our everyday lives, and is of immense value to us as individuals and to the common good.
"I welcome the decision of the Justice Committee today, and I hope that after some consideration, they will agree with us, and most civil society bodies that have given this consideration, that we should replace article 41.2 with a provision that values and recognises care.”