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Women need definitive constitutional guarantees: McDonald

15 February, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Constitutional Convention Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD, has called for a Bill of Rights to provide comprehensive protection for women’s equality and the equal rights of all citizens including economic and social rights. 

Deputy McDonald said:
“This weekend’s Constitutional Convention will debate amending the clause on the role of women in the home and encouraging greater participation of women in public life; as well as increasing the participation of women in politics.

“Recent debate on women’s participation in politics has been limited to gender quotas. Sinn Féin strongly supports the introduction of gender quotas but we also realise that this measure will not be the cure-all in tackling women’s under presentation in public and political life.

“The rightful position of women in Irish society is as equals in every way. Whilst noting that the view that Article 41.2 of the Constitution provides for the recognition of unpaid care work, we believe this clause should be removed in favour of robust and comprehensive equality guarantees for women in the context of a Bill or Charter of Rights.

“Removal or amending the article is not enough. Women need definitive constitutional guarantees under law for all violations of our equal rights. If unpaid work is to be constitutionally recognised for its economic and social contribution to the life of the State it must be gender neutral.” ENDS

Note to Editors:
Sinn Féin’s delegation to this weekend’s convention will be Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, MLA for South Down Caitríona Ruane and Senator David Cullinane.



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