Women and legislation


Sir, – There has been a number of letters of late referring to a so-called removal of “women” from Irish legislation. This concern is misplaced and does not represent all the facts of the situation.

The 2005 Interpretation Act means all legislation can be read in a gender-inclusive way when needed. This Act was cited as a core reason why the 2018 abortion legislation did not explicitly say it includes transgender men and non-binary people.

During the process of this legislation going through the Dáil, legal advice was issued to the government that stated that specifically naming transgender people in that one law could have had the unintended consequence of risking transgender people losing other rights they currently have under other laws.

As per this advice, the abortion legislation specifically names women, and the 2005 Act ensures that transgender men and non-binary people would still be able to access abortion care.

The Free Provision of Period Products Bill states, “Everyone who needs to use period products may obtain them free of charge”.

The Reproductive Health Related Leave Bill also doesn’t mention gender anywhere, but it’s because it’s an employee rights piece, so it says “employee” in place of person/woman.

I’m quite confident that women are considered people, therefore are naturally included when discussing group terms such as “people”, “employees”, or “everybody”. – Yours, etc,