Coalition of civil society organisations welcomes announcement of Care and Family referendum

Coalition of civil society organisations welcomes announcement of Care and Family referendum

Press Release 28 November 2023 

A coalition of six civil society organisations including the National Women’s Council, Family Carers Ireland, One Family, Treoir, Independent Living Movement Ireland, and SIPTU has welcomed the announcement of a referendum on 8 March 2024 to amend parts of the Constitution dealing with the family, care and ‘women’s role within the home’.

Each of our organisations represents a section of Irish society including women, family carers, lone parent families, non-marital families, disabled people, and workers including care workers. In anticipation of this referendum, we have in recent months established a solid platform based on a collective commitment to equality and inclusion in relation to gender, family, and care in the home and wider community.

While we welcome the announcement of the referendum, we note that the wording the Irish people will vote on is significantly different to that recommended by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality, which was in turn informed by the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality.

Our organisations will now take some time to engage with our members, review the wording, i and consider its impact on the communities we work with.


For more information, please contact Sinéad Nolan, NWC Communications and Social Media Coordinator, 085 8619087 or 



About NWC 
The National Women’s Council is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. We have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters.

This year we celebrate 50 years since our foundation with a special calendar of events and campaigns.

The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality and no woman is left behind. This ambition shapes and informs our work, and, with our living values, how we work.

We are a movement-building organisation rooted in our membership, working on the whole island of Ireland. We are also part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights. Our purpose is to lead action for the achievement of women’s and girls’ equality through mobilising, influencing, and building solidarity. Find out more on


About Treoir

Treoir was founded in 1976 and is the national federation of services for unmarried parents and their families. Treoir along with its member agencies, promotes the rights and welfare of unmarried parents and their children and advocates on their behalf. Treoir recognises the diversity of Irish families and believes that all families, including non-marital families, should be valued equally and receive the same level of protection and support from the state. Treoir provides information to non-married parents on areas of family law, available supports for families, and supports for successful shared parenting. We endeavour to always look for ways to enhance our information provision and help families to realise their rights.


About Family Carers Ireland

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting the 500,000+ family carers across the country who care for loved ones such as children or adults with additional needs, physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, those with palliative care needs or those living with chronic illnesses, mental health challenges or addiction. It provides a range of services and supports for family carers through its Carer Support Centres nationwide and through its National Freephone Careline 1800 24 07 24. See for more information.

Our vision is an Ireland in which family carers and young carers are properly recognised, supported and empowered. Our mission is to highlight the contribution of family carers to Irish society and to improve the lives of family carers throughout the country. We believe that no one should have to care alone.


About One Family

 One Family is Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating, offering support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services.

  These services include the askonefamily national helpline on 01 662 9212, counselling, and provision of training courses for parents and for professionals. For further information visit:



SIPTU is Ireland’s largest trade union representing over 180,000 workers from virtually every category of employment across almost every sector of the Irish economy. SIPTU is the representative body of Ireland’s care professionals including workers in healthcare, home care, elder care, childcare, intellectual disability, physical disability, community care and social care.


About ILMI

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) was established as the first Irish Center for Independent Living in 1992 by and for disabled people with the main aim that disabled people achieved Independent Living, choice and control over their lives and full participation in society as equal citizens.