Internet InfoMedia irelands referendums on women and family in the constitution
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The country will consider two amendments: one to remove the reference to a woman’s domestic duties and another to expand the definition of family.

For more than eight decades, Ireland’s Constitution has included language enshrining the role of women in the home, which equality advocates have long seen as a relic of a patriarchal past. On Friday, the Irish public will vote on proposals to change that language and to broaden the definition of what constitutes a family.

The voting coincides with International Women’s Day and could be another milestone in a transformative few decades during which Ireland has reshaped its Constitution in ways that reflect the country’s more secular and liberal modern identity.

If passed, the amendments would provide the latest updates to the Constitution, a document originally written in line with the values of the Roman Catholic Church and ratified in 1937, when religion and social conservatism dominated society.

Voters will be asked to consider two separate questions.

The first asks whether the public is in favor of amending Article 41 of the Constitution to provide for a wider concept of family.

At present, the Constitution says: “The state recognizes the family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.”

It adds: “The state pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of marriage, on which the family is founded, and to protect it against attack.”

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