Sinn Féin welcomes Constitutional Convention women’s equality votes

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Monday, February 18th, 2013
The Sinn Féin delegates to the Constitutional Convention have welcomed the deliberative body’s votes in favour of bringing respect for women’s equality into the Constitution. MLA Caitriona Ruane is representing the party along with Senator David Cullinane and Mary Lou McDonald. Speaking to Newry Times, she said, “It is a very welcome result that the Convention has voted to redress those aspects of the constitution which have been controversial from the very start, and also to make provision for enhanced gender equality guarantees. These changes are long overdue. “We believe that these guarantees would be even more effective in the context of a comprehensive Bill or Charter of Rights, which would be more accessible to the average citizen. “We trust that in future the Convention will take the opportunity of influencing the content of an All-Ireland Charter of Rights, which the Good Friday Agreement obliges the Irish Government to adopt. Ruane added, “Such consideration and input would be fully in keeping with the mandatory requirement on the Convention to ‘have appropriate regard’ to the relevant provisions of the Agreement.” The three Sinn Féin delegates voted in favour of amending the Constitution to use gender-inclusive language, to include an explicit provision on gender equality and a positive action obligation on the State to give effect to such a guarantee. The delegates also voted in favour of amending Article 41.2 to make it into a gender neutral formulation that recognises the value of all unpaid care work done by both women and men in the home and in the wider community.
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