Men’s role in care needs to be recognised and promoted in our Constitution

Men’s role in care needs to be recognised and promoted in our Constitution

Date: Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Time: 11.00am – 12.30pm

Location: Men’s Development Network, Equality House, 49-50 O’Connell St, Waterford, X91 E866.

A media briefing in support of the #YesYes referendum campaign will be hosted by Men’s Development Network (MDN) and Treoir, the National Information Service for Non-Marital Families, in Waterford this Wednesday, February 28th.

Both organisations together with others are urging a ‘Yes / Yes’ vote in the upcoming Referendums on Family and Care on Friday, March 8th.

Men’s Development Network engages with men, boys, and families to create positive change. Treoir works with cohabiting couples, one-parent families, co-parents, and kinship carers with the goal of making Ireland an equal place for all families and their children.

Men’s Development Network CEO Sean Cooke said: “The language in the constitution doesn’t reflect the society we’re living in today and by enshrining Care as a societal value within our constitution it creates the conditions to acknowledge the giving and receiving of care and also invites us men to play an active part in promoting the many forms care we do therefore modelling these caring behaviours for our young men and boys”.

Treoir CEO Damien Peelo said: “If passed this referendum would protect families beyond married families in our Constitution. Cohabiting couples and their children, lone-parent families and fathers’ durable relationships with their children would now have constitutional recognition. The outdated language in the constitution places the role of responsibility for family care, including parenting, on mothers which is a gender equality issue. A Yes/Yes in this referendum would protect father’s role in parenting and send a strong message for the need for greater supports for men and their role in care”

National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) Head of Campaigns Rachel Coyle said. “We’re delighted to be joining the Men’s Development Network and Treoir today in Waterford to discuss the upcoming referendums. These votes are our opportunity to shape a fairer, more equal Ireland where all families and children are valued equally. It’s our chance to finally remove sexist and outdated language from the Constitution and recognise the contribution of care made by both men and women.

“If passed, the proposals to amend Article 41 of the Constitution will acknowledge the various forms of loving families in our communities and enshrine the concept of giving and receiving care by any member of the family – mothers, fathers, members of the extended family as a societal value.”

The 11am media conference in Equality House will hear from speakers including Co-founder and Chairman John O’Connor (the ground-breaking online therapy platform) and long-time champion of women’s rights and gender justice at national and European level Sé Franklin.

  Treoir CEO Damien Peelo and NWCI Head of Campaigns Rachel Coyle will take part in a panel Q&A session moderated by Dermot Keyes.

Yes/Yes Express

The event will be followed by a lunchtime information roll-out in Waterford City, encouraging people to #VoteYesYes for Family, for Care, for Equality. 

After a photocall outside the Men’s Development Network offices, the Yes Yes Express truck will travel along the Quay to the Clock Tower, out the Dunmore Road to Ardkeen, and back to the Apple Market via the Cork Road.

The organisations would be delighted to meet members of the national media on the day. Ideally, you might indicate in advance if a representative can attend.