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A date for constitutional change in 2023 must be set

13 July 2022

Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik has today (Wednesday, 13th July) called on the Government to urgently proceed with the necessary preparatory work, including the setting of a provisional polling date in 2023, for a referendum to remove outdated gender stereotypes from the Constitution.

The call comes following the publication today of the report of the Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality, which recommends that a referendum should be held in 2023 on Articles 40.1 and 41 of the Constitution. 

Launching the report, Committee Chairperson Deputy Bacik said: 

“It has long been agreed that the way in which women and mothers are referred to in Article 41 is based on outdated gender stereotypes and should have no place in a constitutional text. 

“The reality is also that the definition of family has long been criticised for being insufficiently inclusive of diverse family forms in contemporary Ireland and that too must change.

“The Committee has recommended that a constitutional referendum be held in 2023 to give effect to the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations on constitutional change. Labour would encourage the Government to take these recommendations seriously, to urgently proceed with the necessary preparatory work and to set a provisional polling date for a referendum in 2023 so that the Irish people will have the chance to remove this outdated and sexist language from the Constitution.”