The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.
State Report paragraphs 34-88
In both 1999 and 2002, the Committee noted in its Concluding Observations that the State had not taken steps to address the inconsistency of Article 40.1 of the Irish Constitution on equality before the law. The Article sets out that the State can ‘have due regard to differences of capacity, physical and moral, and of social function’ which conflicts with Articles 2 and 3 of the Covenant which prohibit discrimination of any kind.1
The Constitution includes provisions that perpetuate sexist stereotypes. By way of example, Article 41.2.1 provides that ‘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’. Article 41.2.1 also provides that ‘The State shall…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’.
1 Article 40.1 states, ‘All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law. This shall not be held to mean that the State shall not in its enactments have due regard to differences of capacity, physical and moral, and of social function’.