Perhaps you can address a question I have about EU action against Eire, and whether or not the following story is true or apocryphal.
My understanding is that, in addition to invoking the Holy Trinity in its preamble, the constitution of the Irish Republic affirms traditional gender roles, viz., that the special role of women in society is that of nurturing children and homemaking. I read somewhere that Brussels was pressuring Dublin to excise this language from the Irish constitution, due to its presumed 'sexism'. Do you know if this is true?
Good question and I thank you for it. The original Irish Constitution which was drawn up in 1937 reflected, among other things, the notion of a "special position" of the RC Church, a territorial claim to the six counties of the state of Northern Ireland and the idea that the 'proper place' of women was in the home. There have been 26 amendments to the Constitution proposed since then (only 24 of which have been accepted by the Irish parliament).
The preamble to the 1937 Constitution invoking the Trinity is still in force and I enclose it below, along with article 41 about women and the family. I have also enclosed articles 44 dealing with the homage due to God and 45 which says that women have a right to earn a living!
The status of women in Ireland has not been a shining example to the nations, in the 1970s, for example, a woman still needed the signature of her husband or father to be able to apply for a reading ticket at a public library! As a postgraduate student in Dublin in 1981, I myself was told that my father's signature was necessary for me to open an account at the Bank of Ireland (I took my business elsewhere). I don't think you need to be Gloria Steinem to find these attitudes unacceptable.
I don't know of any proposals by the EU to force further change, but I am actually a citizen of Northern Ireland. We have British-style divorce law here but abortion is illegal in NI with very few exceptions. Don't worry if you don't understand Ireland, nobody who lives here does either. Thank you for raising this point, I will try to find out more on the EU angle. Brigid
In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
We, the people of +ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â«ire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,
And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
1. 1-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ The State recognises 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.
2-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.
2. 1-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.
2-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.
3. 1-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ 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.
1. The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion.
2. The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing:
i. That the citizens (all of whom, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood) may through their occupations find the means of making reasonable provision for their domestic needs.http://126.96.36.199/upload/publications/297.htm