As a society, our attitudes and values can change over time. What is taken for granted or understood as common sense does not always stay the same.
As well as telling us about important political decisions and changes in the law, the historical debates can help us learn about how people in Ireland saw themselves and one another in the past. The examples here relating to the status of women are from between 1922 and 1930. They show how women were seen as part of civil society in newly independent Ireland. They also show how ideas about sexual morality and reproduction were powerful in shaping women’s social and legal status.