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Referendum on gender equality later this year
Ministers announcing plans for a referendum on gender equality Pic: RollingNews.ie

08 Mar 2023 / ireland Print

Referendum on gender equality later this year

The Government has set out its plans to hold a referendum, or referendums, on gender equality in November this year.

The move had been recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality and the Special Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality.

Their reports had backed amendments to articles 40 and 41 of the Constitution

The Citizens’ Assembly report had recommended that:

  • Article 40.1 should be amended to refer explicitly to gender equality and non-discrimination,
  • Article 41 should be amended, so that it would protect family life, with the protection afforded to the family not limited to the marital family,
  • Article 41.2 should be deleted and replaced with language that was not gender-specific, and obliged the State to take reasonable measures to support care within the home and wider community.


“I am pleased to announce that the Government plans to hold a referendum this November to amend our Constitution to enshrine gender equality, and to remove the outmoded reference to ‘women in the home’,” said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (pictured, centre).

Roderic O’Gorman (Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, pictured, left) said that his department would be convening an inter-departmental committee in March to develop policy recommendations for consideration by Government, with a view to agreement by Government of wording for the proposed referenda by mid-May.

He intends to publish the general scheme of one or more referendum bills by the end of June, so that the Electoral Commission can be briefed and the bill, or bills, can be considered by the Oireachtas.

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