The Referendum Special: ‘A woman’s place is in the revolution and not in the home’

The Women’s Podcast hears from two women on opposite sides of the referendum debate

Listen | 64:01

This Friday, on International Women’s Day, the Irish public will be asked to vote in two upcoming referendums.

The first referendum, known as the Family Amendment, concerns the definition of family as outlined in the Irish Constitution and proposes expanding the definition to recognise durable relationships.

The second referendum, known as the Care Amendment, proposes the removal of the reference to women’s duties in the home, instead replacing it with language recognising care within the family.

For former barrister and no-voter Laura Perrins, a yes vote in the referendum on care, would essentially “erase the only mention of” women and mothers from the constitution.


“I just don’t know why, genuinely, any woman, and in particular mothers, would vote themselves out of the constitution,” she tells Róisín Ingle on the latest episode of The Irish Times Women’s Podcast.

“There’s nothing sexist in the word woman and there is nothing sexist in the recognition that the work that she does in the home serves the common good,” she adds.

Perrins was speaking on the podcast alongside visual artist Aideen Barry who is campaigning for a yes vote in the care referendum, describing Article 41.2 as “the bane of her life”.

“I would like my children to see that a woman’s place is in the revolution and not in the home. It’s important that our children see us as critical thinking individuals. who have the right to go out and be whatever they want to be,” she explains.

In this episode, we also hear from Irish Times political correspondent Jennifer Bray who sets out exactly what voters are being asked, what the changes will mean and what concerns have been raised regarding the amendments.

You can listen back to this conversation in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts.

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan is an audio producer at The Irish Times