The Constitution and work in the home


Sir, – The article by Jacky Jones (“Are men not fed up being the family bread winners?”, Second Opinion, Health + Family, August 8th), in which she asks if women are “afraid they might have to get a real job” if constitutional recognition for their work in the home were removed, showed a lack of understanding of what homemakers actually do in and out of the home (it is not all about housework) and a lack of acknowledgement of the importance of this work.

I would argue that constitutional recognition of the importance for society of work done by homemakers is progressive and enlightened but that the recognition should include men and women and incorporate other unpaid, unrecognised work, such as caring for sick and elderly.

If the Government had taken its constitutional responsibility in this regard seriously, and not allowed two incomes to be taken into consideration for mortgages, thus fuelling increasing house prices, we would probably now find more parents working part-time and sharing household responsibilities, as happens in some other European countries.

Instead of downgrading essential, traditionally female “caring” roles, and the talents needed to do them well, we should applaud the people who choose to do them. Maybe then we would have the beginnings of a truly egalitarian society. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.