LEICESTER, United Kingdom – A new survey says more than two-thirds of mothers with children under the age of 18 in the Republic of Ireland would prefer to stay at home with their children rather than go out to work if they could afford it.

The survey by Amarach Research was commissioned by The Iona Institute as the nation faces a referendum on March 8 over the “woman in home” clause of the constitution, which says the Irish state will “endeavor to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labor to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

Supporters of the change want to a new Article 42B, which says the state “recognizes that the provision of care, by members of a family to one another by reason of the bonds that exist among them, gives to society a support without which the common good cannot be achieved, and shall strive to support such provision.”

Earlier this month, Green Party Minister Catherine Martin said the Irish Constitution says “a woman’s place is in the home.”

“It’s not reflective of today’s society for our constitution to say that a woman’s place is in the home,” she said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

however, Supreme Court Justice Marie Baker said the constitution does not say “a woman’s place is in the home,” but that mothers shouldn’t “have to go out to work” due to “economic necessity.”

The Amarach Research survey said 69 percent of mothers with school-age children would prefer to stay at home with their children rather than go out to work if they could afford it. In addition, it found 76 percent of mothers said that women who work in the home are undervalued by society compared with women who work outside the home, and over 70 percent of mothers do not feel valued by society for their work as mothers.

“The findings are extremely relevant to the upcoming referendum on carers. Currently, the Constitution acknowledges the importance of mothers, and it says they should not be forced out of the home by economic necessity,” said Professor Patricia Casey, who teaches psychiatry at the University College Dublin and at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin. She is also a co-founder of the Iona Institute.

“We see from this survey and others like it that the vast majority of mothers would prefer to stay at home with their children if they could afford it. This is exactly what the Constitution aims at, even if the State has failed to live up to the promise of the Constitution,” she said.

“I have been a working mother for most of my adult life. This is what I wanted, and Article 41.2 of the Constitution held me back in no way, shape or form. Children’s Minister, Roderic O’Gorman, says ‘a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be’, and that is exactly correct,” Casey continued.

“The trouble is that the policy of this and past Governments has made it almost impossible for most mothers to stay at home with their children if that is what they want,” she said.

“If the Government was really on the side of mothers, it would make it easier for them to stay at home with their children if that is their wish, and it is the wish of the vast majority of them, as the Amarach poll tells us,” the professor added.

“But the Government seems to be on the side of the economy, not mothers. It wants to delete the one reference to mothers from the Constitution, the one reference to the home in the context of mothers, and the one reference to try and protect mothers from being forced out of the home. This is not right,” Casey said.

Independent Senator Michael McDowell told Gript, an Irish news agency, that he is “confident” the referendum would be defeated.

“The people who are determined not to be bamboozled by the government will come out to vote, and the great majority of people at the moment have limited access to the underlying facts and to what it’s all about,” he said.

However, a Irish Times poll shows 53 percent of the voters intended to vote ‘Yes’, with just 15 percent saying they planned to vote ‘No’. The rest were either undecided or did not intend to vote.

The Irish Republic has in recent years legalized both same-sex marriage and abortion, weakening the country’s historic ties to the Catholic Church.