Women and the Constitution of Ireland

Category: Culture
Date added
2021/04/10
Pages:  2
Words:  718
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The above article was written into the constitution in 1937, when Eamon De Valera was in power. The above article is a representation of De Valera’s attitude towards women. De Valera the primary architect of the Constitution claimed that “everyone knows there is little chance of having a home … if there is no woman in it, the woman is really the home-maker”. A meeting between De Valera and protesters in 1937 was arranged after feminist protesters wrote letters to De Valera stating that the article written was sexist and ignorant. This meeting achieved little, except the removal of the phrase inadequate strength in clause 45 which outlined the State’s intention to protect women and children from unsuitable avocations because of their inadequate strength. Although the article was written in 1937 it was already irrelevant and outdated to modern Irish women at this time. Countess Markievicz was a hugh advocate for wome during this time. In 1918 Markievicz became the first woman elected as a member of parliament. This was a monumental victory at this time as De Valera had not allowed women to fight in the outpost he commanded during the 1916 Easter rising. This article includes a section declaring that “the State recognizes that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved”. This section is only now being given consideration for replacement. Replacing this article with a gender-neutral statement would ensure that the Constitution would be more closely aligned with the values Markievicz fought hard to instil.

The women of today should not need an article within the constitution to be holding them back, Women already face a male dominated employment industry. In 2016 the employment rate for men in Ireland was 69.9% while the employment rate for women in Ireland was 59.5% which is approximately 10% less than men according to the central statistics office. Women make up approximately 46% of the Irish work force. The work force in Ireland continues to be highly segregated. Women are on average paid less well than men, something that is referred to as the Gender Pay Gap. On average women are paid 14% less than men the latest data from the Central Statistics Office shows, indicating that pay differences are increasing instead of decreasing . As a woman I find this statistic discouraging, why should women not be on the same pay level as men? Why is it that once a woman has a child she is presumed to stay at home? Limitations remain a reality for women in the business sector with only 6.3% of CEO positions in major publicly listed companies in the EU are held by women, which is a shocking low percentage compared to the 93.7% of CEO positions which are held by men.

Article 41.2.2 is seen as a sexist and derogatory towards women but it is also sexist towards men. Why is it that they mother is presumed to stay at home when a baby is born? Men are just as entitled to be ‘stay at home fathers’ as women are to be ‘stay at home mothers’ so why let a constitutional law state that parents must accommodate an out of date, sexist article. In 2016 a bill was past to allow men paternity leave. New dads can take two weeks paternity leave in one continuous block any time in the first six months following their baby’s birth or adoption. The vast majority of parents looking after children in 2016 were women but the CSO figures show the number of men minding their kids doubled in the 10 years up to 2016, rising from 4,900 to 9,200. Parents need to discuss and realize that times have changed in Ireland with neither mother nor father being forced to undertake outdated stereotypical roles in society, but they can instead choose and discuss what roles they would prefer when it comes to raising their children. You rarely hear of a man boasting about the fact that he is a stay at home dad, in order for this to be a more acceptable role for men there need to be a more open minded attitude taken on by Irish citizens or else women will continue to face sexists statics and men face complete emasculation leading them to have to no confidence to step up and own their opinion on being a stay at home dad.

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Women and the Constitution of Ireland. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/women-and-the-constitution-of-ireland/

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