To mark International Women’s Day 2018, the Workers’ Party have issued a call for the commencement of a comprehensive programme of actions to separate the Catholic Church from the Irish state.
Cllr. Éilis Ryan, speaking for the Workers’ Party, said:
“This amendment was inserted into the constitution in 1983 because of the social and political influence of a right-wing Catholic conservative lobbying group, and the Church. It was used to ensure Church teachings continued to control women in Ireland, by turning back the clock on progress in the area of women’s rights which had been made over the previous two decades.
“Because of the amendment, 170,000 women and girls have travelled to the UK and other countries for abortions since the 8th Amendment was enacted in 1983. Now, thirty-five years later the Workers’ Party calls on the people of Ireland to undo the damage that was foisted upon women in 1983, as a crucial next step in building a truly secular republic.”
The Workers’ Party councillor continued:
“But if and when the 8th amendment is repealed, we have a long battle ahead of us to fully separate the church from our supposedly secular state. Church influence over the state has consistently relegated women to second class citizens. One institution’s conservative values have dictated the ethos of our hospitals and schools for far too long, often to the detriment of women and others.”
Cllr. Ryan concluded:
“In a true republic, women’s rights should be upheld by a secular state, without interference from any private body – whether that be the Catholic church, any other religious organisation, or big business. For this to become a reality, we must begin a comprehensive programme of removing church control of our public healthcare and education in Ireland.”