Statement on the Family and Care Referendums on 8 March 2024

March 4 2024, 04:22pm

Family and Care

The Disability Federation of Ireland, DFI will be supporting a yes vote in the Family Referendum and will not be taking a voting position on the Care Referendum taking place on 8 March.

DFI believes that the referendum on the Family is a progressive move for greater equality. We recognise that families come in all different shapes and sizes and the referendum has the potential to benefit disabled single parents, those widowed and families where individuals are not married.

In the context of considerable public discourse, the intersectionality of care, gender and disability, and the varying and divergent interpretation of the Care Referendum’s potential implications, DFI has decided we are not adopting a voting position. Our interests are in advancing independent living for disabled people; as well as in recognising the role of family carers.  Care should always be centred on supporting people’s independence and choice.

Importance of voting on 8 March

It is up to each individual to inform themselves about what is being asked of them in the referendums, and to determine their own vote. We are encouraging everyone to use their vote on the 8th of March. There is a need also for greater awareness and efforts to ensure that political participation is made a reality for disabled people; with accessible information and voting opportunities.

We particularly welcome the inputs from a number of our member organisations who have prepared easy-to-read versions of the referendum information and accessible information on the processes involved in voting.

Realising the United Nations Convention on Persons with Disabilities, UN CRPD

The referendum debate has brought to the fore the need to strengthen Ireland’s disability equality policies and legislation to realise the UN CRPD and progress the independent living agenda. This includes ratifying the optional protocol. We greatly value the participation of all different voices to this critical national discussion.  Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Government needs to do more to secure disabled people’s independence and equality. DFI is very clear that our work in this regard carries on after the 8th of March.


5 March 2024