Family and Care Referendums 8 March

Friday 8 March represents a historic day in Ireland. The people of Ireland will get to vote in two referendums that represent a turning point for our country. This is a huge opportunity to have a Constitution that recognises the enormous contribution care makes to our society, it can recognise the family care of women and men today and in the future. We can have a Constitution that finally gives equality to all Ireland’s children that were born outside of marriage. It can embrace and recognise the reality of family life in Ireland, leaving no family behind. 

Dr Mary McAleese
Dr Mary McAleese 1st March 2024

“I have made up my mind and for what it is worth, I intend to vote YES to both proposed changes to the Constitution because I am persuaded that they will reflect the overwhelming impulse for equality and inclusivity that is a hallmark of modern Ireland.”

See Dr Mary McAleese’s full speech here

YES for Family

Voting Yes Yes shows that we cherish the wide diversity of families in our country, and that every child should have been and will be recognised equally as part of a family. 

The referendum on Family will amend the Constitution to recognise the real diversity of families in Ireland. Married families will keep their recognition in the Constitution and, with a Yes vote, the recognition of family will be shared with those who have been excluded until now. These include one parent families, cohabiting couples, unmarried parents and families where other relatives have stepped in to raise children.

These families, and the children who are part of them, need your Yes vote – they have been left in legal limbo and have felt and experienced stigma and isolation for decades. Our Constitution must cherish all children equally, regardless of whether the family they are part of is based on marriage or not.

YES for Care

Voting Yes Yes means a recognition that every woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be. And that we recognise the value of both women and men’s care in the family.

The referendum on Care will finally remove Article 41.2, which uses outdated language to describe women’s life and duties within the home. This is our opportunity to delete that limited picture of women and replace it with recognition of all women and men who provide care for family. It will also send a strong message that Irish people want the government to put in place real supports for all those who provide care and for disabled people to live independent lives.

A Yes Yes vote will send a clear message to government that the Irish people want to see change. Change to recognise that we are a caring society, and we must support care – acknowledging all of the unpaid caring work that is done by women and men.

Care includes the emotional and practical support that we all need at different times in our lives to participate and thrive. This referendum will recognise the importance of family care and carers in our society. This won’t change things for women and families overnight, but it will make Ireland a little bit better than it was before – more inclusive, fairer and is our chance to move away from the dark past of how the State has treated women.

Voting Yes Yes sends a message that we are a people with ‘care’ and caring in our heart. That Irish people value care in families and we know that no family can do it alone or in isolation. That we all need help and we all need support.

Every single one of us knows someone or are themselves directly affected by the issues we vote on this March.

  • In Ireland today, 40% of families are non-marital and both women and men are involved in family care. Our Constitution should reflect modern Ireland so it’s important to vote for these changes.
  • With this change all children should be recognised as equal in Ireland whether their parents are married or not. All families should have the same rights and benefits, regardless of their marriage status.
  • All of us will give and receive care. It’s time to give both women and men the recognition they deserve as family carers.

Along with this historic change in our Constitution, a Yes Yes vote will send a message to all political parties to commit to real change that puts care at the heart of Ireland’s future.

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Voter Checklist

  • Check the register: Make sure you can vote by checking the register.
  • Polling card: Your polling card should arrive by post at the address where you are registered. 
  • Plan ahead: Make a plan a few days before the vote on Friday, 8th March 2024. You can check where to vote on your polling information card.
  • Talk with politicians: Tell your local politician that you support a Yes Yes vote. Tell them you want to see real, positive change to family and carer supports following a Yes Yes vote.
  • Get out and vote: On Friday, 8th March, take your polling card and a form of ID with you to the polling station. You do not need your polling card if you have other ID. You can check what form of ID is accepted here. Do not wear campaign badges into the polling station.
  • Encourage others: Tell friends and family that you have voted Yes Yes and encourage them to get out and be a part of this important moment in Ireland.

Yes Yes Organisations

Together we represent family carers, women, one-parent families, unmarried parents and couples, men, disabled people and young people. We are asking all people in Ireland to vote Yes and Yes in the Family and Care referendums on Friday, 8th March 2024.

  • Action for Choice
  • Care Alliance >
  • Communications Workers Union >
  • Community Work Ireland >
  • Doras Buí parents alone resource centre >
  • EAPN >
  • Family Carers Ireland >
  • Family Resource Centre National Forum >
  • From Lads to Dads
  • Fórsa >
  • Irish Congress of Trade Unions >
  • Irish Women Lawyers Association >
  • ISSU >
  • Mens Development Network
  • One Family >
  • Outhouse  >
  • Oxfam >
  • LGBT Ireland >
  • NISIG >
  • NWC  >
  • SIPTU >
  • Spunout >
  • TENI >
  • Treoir >
  • Unite the Union >
  • USI >
  • Women’s Aid >
  • Social Care Ireland >
  • The Community Platform > 

We are organisations campaigning for a Yes Yes on both referendums. We work with and represent thousands of families, carers, disabled people, women, children, younger and older people impacted by both referendums. We have shared values and a commitment to advancing equality throughout and beyond both referendums.

  • We know a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be and it’s beyond time to remove Article 41.2 from our founding document.
  • We all give and receive care at different times in our lives and this referendum is a chance to tell the government and politicians that they must do more to recognise and support care.
  • We value all families equally and want to see them better protected in our Constitution.

Support Yes Yes

We need you, your organisation, the communities you work with and represent to vote Yes Yes on the 8th of March. We have a very important and long overdue opportunity to ensure our Constitution, a defining values document in our country, represents the diversity of Irish families today, promotes gender equality and starts to recognise care.

We see both referendums as an important stepping stone in the right direction to progressing equality in Ireland. We believe a strong Yes Yes vote is a clear signal to politicians of all parties that the public want to see a more equal inclusive and kind Ireland.

Please support #VoteYesYes with your donation. Any donation, big or small, will make a difference! Donations for #VoteYesYes can be accepted through One Family or the National Women’s Council

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