The role of women in the Constitution

 

A chara, – It is strange that Sonja Tiernan, head of the department of history and politics at Liverpool Hope University, fails to question a model of superiority and inferiority in modern society.

She wrote (Opinion, August 15th): “De Valera wiped out the record of successes made by Markievicz in a very real way. When he oversaw the redrafting of the Constitution in 1937, women were positioned as inferior. Articles were inserted into that document declaring women’s ultimate place as being in the domestic sphere.”

The unquestioned presumption here is that the domestic sphere is inferior to the public sphere. Why should that be the case?

It is not true that “Articles were inserted into [the 1937 Constitution] declaring women’s ultimate place as being in the domestic sphere.” Rather, Article 41 clearly states life within the home is vital to society and State. It says nothing about that being women’s ultimate place.

Economic structures today put great pressure on men and women to the detriment of “the domestic sphere”.

Today we need to acknowledge, and in practical terms, that the life of both women and men in the home is vital to society and State. That could be both terrifying and challenging to the State. – Is mise,

PÁDRAIG McCarthy,

Sandyford, Dublin.