Oireachtas members join call for publication of wording for the upcoming equality referendum: Equality Coalition

Oireachtas members join call for publication of wording for the upcoming equality referendum: Equality Coalition

Oireachtas members join call for publication of wording for the upcoming equality referendum  

Press Release, 27th September 2023  

Former Committee Chair, Ivana Bacik TD, and members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality today (Wednesday, 27th September 2023) joined five civil society organisations outside Leinster House to call for the publication of the wording for the upcoming equality referendum in line with the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee Report. The five organsiations included the National Women’s Council (NWC), Treoir, One Family, Family Carers Ireland and SIPTU 

Orla O’Connor, Director, National Women’s Council said, 

“We welcome the greater clarity provided by Government in relation to the timeline of this referendum which is now scheduled to take place in early 2024. We are now calling on the Government to publish the wording without delay so that the public has the time and space to consider the proposals that they will be asked to vote on.  

The referendum is our chance to lead a national conversation on the values and principles that we want to see shape our shared future and policies. It is a historic opportunity to remove limits on women’s role from the Constitution and instead enshrine the value of care in all of its forms, inside the home and in the wider community.   

Valuing care is about ensuring everyone is supported to participate in our community. People who provide care, both in paid and unpaid roles, must be able to do so with dignity and with the proper support and resources. And people who may need care must have access and choice when it comes to the supports they need to live their lives independently.”  

Damien Peelo, Treoir said, 

“We all know that family is much broader than just legal or biological relationships. When we talk about family we’re talking about love, care, and the relationships between people. Today, Ireland’s family life is increasingly diverse. The number of children born outside of marriage is rising, with 43% registered in 2022.  

The upcoming referendum is our chance to reflect this reality of family life in our Constitution and recognize all family types equally, including but not limited to the family based on marriage. 

All families, including the ones with children in them, need recognition, support, and protection by our Constitution. We are calling on the Government to publish the wording for the upcoming equality referendum without further delay.” 


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWC, Tel. 085 858 9104.  

Notes to Editor 

What: Photocall with coalition of civil society organisations and the Chair and Members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality  

When: Wednesday, 27th September 2023, 10 am 

Where: Outside the gates of Leinster House 


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 www.nwci.ie 

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. www.treoir.ie/ 

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 www.familycarers.ie 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: www.onefamily.ie 

About SIPTU 

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. www.siptu.ie