Leo Varadkar: ‘I don’t believe Irish women are fully equal’

Taoiseach welcomes Katherine Zappone’s call for ‘reproductive justice in Ireland’

 Minister for Children  Dr Katherine Zappone and Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar photographed earlier this year. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Children Dr Katherine Zappone and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar photographed earlier this year. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has welcomed Minister for Children Katherine Zappone’s call for “reproductive justice in Ireland”.

Speaking at the Kennedy Summer School in Co Wexford, Ms Zappone had said women would not be equal citizens in Ireland until the Eighth Amendment - prohibiting abortion - is removed from the Constitution.

“I certainly welcome Minister Zappone’s contribution to the debate and I am very glad that she is able express her views freely,” Mr Varadkar told reporters in Co Longford.

“The decision is we intend to have a referendum ideally in the first part of next year, and that will give the Irish people an opportunity to decide what they want to do with the Irish Constitution - because ultimately it’s only going to be a decision for the Irish people.

“I don’t believe Irish women are fully equal, but I think that’s about many things, not just the Constitution. We see it in lots of different fields. It is an issue that I know divides households.”