Increased gender equality in legal profession says Shatter
Dáil debates recommendation to change Constitution on role of women in the home
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter presented the Government’s response to the Constitutional Convention about amending the clause on the role of women in the home and in society. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ireland is at the “forefront in the EU” for the number of third-level female graduates and “we must make sure these women have every opportunity to advance their careers” while sharing family caring roles with their partner, the Dáil was told.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter was presenting the Government’s response to the Constitutional Convention about amending the clause on the role of women in the home and in society.
He confirmed the Government’s acceptance of the convention’s vote that the language of article 41.2 of the Constitution about the role of women in the home needed to be changed.
He said no date could be given for a referendum, but a task force would report to the Government by the end of October 2014.
The convention also recommended the Constitution should be changed to include an explicit provision on gender equality but “while this proposal has merit”, it “requires further examination”, Mr Shatter added.
He highlighted progress in the legal professions. He noted that the attorney general, chief justice, president of the District Court, director of public prosecutions and deputy Garda commissioner were all women.
Fianna Fáil’s Sean Ó Fearghaíl said 55 per cent of women were in employment and in many homes in his constituency, “it is the woman who is still at work”. He said it was “high time” to amend the Constitution.
Sinn Féin justice spokesman Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said his party had adopted a policy that, to increase the immediate representation of women, all seat co-options should be to women until the 50 per cent gender equality target was met.