Ireland is to hold a referendum on a clause in its 1937 constitution that implies that a woman’s place is in the home – and not in the labour market. Article 41.2 says that “by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved”, and adds that mothers should “not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home”. The government has now passed a motion proposing the “outdated” clause be removed; some politicians, however, have argued that it should instead be made gender neutral, in order to give full-time carers of both sexes constitutional protection. This referendum, and another on abolishing the law against blasphemy, will be held this autumn, on the same day as Ireland’s presidential election.
(Reported in The Week, 13 July 2018).
Taken along with the vote on the recent Irish vote on abortion (and assuming this new referendum will bring the country into line with modern practice), this is potentially good news at a moment when all we get is bad news about most things in sight. Epicureanism stands for equality of men and women.
There is a point of view that says that children do best when they can come home after school to a parent, not an empty house. The other side of the argument is that women should be able to choose: work outside the home or not. This should be a personal right and should not be dictated by men, the Catholic church or the Constitution.