Home and the Constitution

A chara, – “For the women who are overwhelmed in working from home with very little support, we need a cultural shift to ensure that flexible working times and working from home become the new norm, to allow women and families to cherish the special moments we’ve come to recognise as so dear to us. And so that no woman has to choose between work, family life and sleep.”

So writes Frances Fitzgerald MEP ("Let's not forget the women", Opinion & Analysis, April 28th). And it's true.

Isn’t that what the intention of article 41.2:2 of the Constitution addressed in the dated phrasing of the 1930s? “The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

Did “the State” endeavour to ensure that? The opposite has come about.


The development of the economy has been give such priority that, for so many, it ensures that both mothers and fathers are obliged by economic necessity to choose work rather than family life (and, indeed, sleep), and still find it almost impossible even to provide that very home.

As Ms Fitzgerald concludes: “For the women that have been our heroes through this time, now it’s our turn to be their champions.”

We need the cultural shift. And let’s include the men too.

Will “the State” listen this time? – Is mise,



Dublin 16.