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Ireland – the government wanted to change “outdated” provisions on the role of the family and women’s responsibilities. The residents voted no in the referendum

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The people of Ireland rejected the idea of ​​changing the constitution during the referendum. The government, led by Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, wanted to remove “sexist” and “outdated” phrases about the role of the family and women’s domestic responsibilities. And although polls showed that the majority of residents supported him on this matter, the referendum results were a big surprise.

The referendum voted on amendments No. 39 and No. 40 to the constitution. The first one concerned changing the content of Art. 41.1 and 41.3 of the constitution.

The government proposed that the words “the state recognizes the family as the natural, primary and basic social unit” should be changed to “the state recognizes the family, whether based on marriage or another lasting relationship, as the natural, primary and basic social unit”, and from the fragment stating that “the state undertakes to guard with particular care the institution of marriage, on which the family is based, and to protect it against attacks” remove the words “on which the family is based”.

See the report of the “Fakty TVN” reporter about the referendum in Ireland: :

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Ireland decides on constitutional changes. “People may vote ‘no’ because the ideas were not progressive enough.”Maciej Woroch/Fakty TVN

The record about women’s responsibilities at home remains

Amendment No. 40 concerned changes to the content of Art. 41.2, which states that “the state recognizes that, through her life at home, women provide the state with support without which the common good cannot be achieved” and that “mothers will not be forced by economic necessity to engage in work while neglecting their responsibilities at home “. The government’s proposal included removing both of these fragments and replacing them with the words: “the state recognizes that the provision of care by family members to each other due to the bonds existing between them provides society with support without which the common good cannot be achieved, and will strive to support such benefit.”

Read also: France in favor of including the right to abortion in the constitution

According to the results announced on Saturday evening, 32.3 percent voted in favor of adopting Amendment No. 39. voters in the referendum, and against – 67.7%, with a turnout of 44.4%. The full results of the vote on Amendment No. 40 are not available yet, but partial results indicate that it was rejected by a similar ratio of votes, and the government has already admitted that it also lost in this matter.

Contrary to polls

The results are a big surprise, because all of them polls indicated that both amendments would be easily adopted – about half of the respondents declared support for them, and one fourth were against them. At the same time, it was pointed out that there was a large number of undecided people and that the turnout would probably be low, which usually favors the opponents of changes. Even before the final results were announced, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who had said he wanted to remove “sexist” and “outdated” phrases from the constitution, admitted that both amendments had been “completely defeated with a commendable turnout”. “Our responsibility was to convince the majority of people to vote yes and we clearly failed to do that,” Varadkar said. Almost all parties represented in parliament argued for the adoption of both amendments, while the Irish Catholic Church appealed for their rejection. In Ireland, any change to the 1937 constitution must be approved in a referendum.

Main photo source: MOSTAFA DARWISH/EPA/PAP

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