How World War I Turned Into A Revolution For Women

From 1915 onwards, Europe’s industry relied massively on the female workforce (AFP)


Driving trams, ploughing fields and manning production lines: World War I radically changed women’s role in society, as they stepped into the boots of men gone to fight for their countries.

In cities across Europe, women took on traditionally “male” jobs- waiting on tables, delivering the mail, teaching in boys’ schools or handling cash as bank clerks.

“Women rapidly became indispensable, not only in the nursing and welfare services but in offices and factories and agriculture, changing the whole balance of society in the process,” says historian Michael Howard.

As soon as war broke out in 1914, France’s prime minister Rene Viviani called on women to “replace in the workplace those who are on the battlefield”.

In Germany 44 percent of Bavarian farms were being run by women by 1916, according to the historian Benjamin Ziemann, with some even forced to pull carts in place of horses requisitioned for battle.

From 1915 onwards, Europe’s industry devoted to the war effort, relied massively on the female workforce, as did that of the United States from 1917.

“Without women, victory will tarry,” warned Britain’s soon-to-be prime minister David Lloyd George in 1915.

Some 400,000 women were toiling in France’s war factories by 1918 -a quarter of the workforce-handling some 2,500 shells per exhausting 11-hour shift.

In Britain, women’s share of the workforce had risen by 50 percent by the end of 1917, with one million employed in war factories in 1918. Many were married and from the middle classes, few of whom worked outside the home until then.

Most, but not all, roles were again reversed after the end of the conflict in 1918 as returning men looked to regain their jobs.

Women’s contribution is also widely held to have helped secure them the vote, as early as November 1918 in both Britain and Germany, and in 1920 in the United States.

Up until the outbreak of war, feminists on both sides had pledged themselves to peace in a kind of transnational women’s solidarity, according to the historian Joshua Goldstein.

But within months all the major feminist groups had thrown their weight behind their respective governments, predicting that patriotism would enhance the prospects for women’s suffrage, he said.

‘Pretty English girls in khaki’

Women contributed mostly on the home front, but more than 80,000 also served in Britain’s Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps as nurses, mechanics, cooks or ambulance drivers.

An emblematic few were exposed to the danger of war, as soldiers or spies.

Among them was Mata Hari, the Dutch-born dancer, seductress and spy who was executed by a French firing squad during the war.

Another famous figure was Edith Cavell, the British nurse celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from all sides without distinction in Brussels. She was found guilty by a German military court of assisting the enemy and shot by firing squad on October 12, 1915.

After a visit to nurses working on the Belgian front line in 1914, journalist Sarah Macnaughton paid tribute to them in testimony published by Britain’s Imperial War Museum.

“It is a queer side of war to see young, pretty English girls in khaki and thick boots, coming in from the trenches, where they have been picking up wounded men within a hundred yards of the enemy’s lines, and carrying them away on stretchers… I lift my hat to you!” she said.

A tiny number of women even went into combat.

One was Dorothy Lawrence, an ambitious 20-year-old journalist who became the only woman soldier enlisted in the British army by passing herself off as a man.

She turned herself in after only 10 days, worried for the safety of the men who helped her.

Flora Sandes, another Englishwoman, enlisted with the Serbian army in 1916, aged around 40, and reached the grade of sergeant major. She stayed on after the war, eventually becoming a major.

Some women in Russia also took part in combat, driven both by patriotism and the desire to escape a drab existence. Most joined up dressed as men, but a few served openly as women.

The most famous were the “Battalion of Death”- several hundred women soldiers led by a 25-year-old peasant girl named Maria Boshkareva, who set up the battalion with permission from the tsar.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Fourth industrial revolution will change the nature of employment, opportunities will be increased : PM Modi – पीएम मोदी ने कहा

खास बातें

  1. डब्ल्यूईएफ का ‘सेंटर फोर दी फोर्थ इंडस्ट्रियल रिवॉल्यूशन’ शुरू
  2. मोदी ने कहा- चौथी औद्योगिक क्रांति में देश का योगदान शानदार रहेगा
  3. सभी ढाई लाख ग्राम पंचायतों को ऑप्टिकल फाइबर से जोड़ा जाएगा

नई दिल्ली: प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने गुरुवार को प्रौद्योगिकी विकास से रोजगार घटने की आशंका को दरकिनार करते हुए कहा कि चौथी औद्योगिक क्रांति से रोजगार की प्रकृति बदल जाएगी और इससे रोजगार के अधिक अवसर पैदा होंगे.

मोदी ने यहां विश्व आर्थिक मंच (डब्ल्यूईएफ) के ‘सेंटर फोर दी फोर्थ इंडस्ट्रियल रिवॉल्यूशन’ की शुरुआत के मौके पर कहा कि उनकी सरकार चौथी औद्योगिक क्रांति के फायदों का लाभ उठाने के लिए नीतिगत बदलाव को तैयार है. उन्होंने कहा, ‘‘हमारी विविधता, हमारी जनसांख्यिकीय क्षमता, तेजी से बढ़ता बाजार का आकार और डिजिटल संरचना में देश को शोध तथा क्रियान्वयन का वैश्विक केंद्र बनाने की संभावना व्याप्त है.’’

उन्होंने कहा कि पिछली औद्योगिक क्रांतियों से भारत को अलग-थलग रखा गया लेकिन चौथी औद्योगिक क्रांति में देश का योगदान शानदार रहेगा. मोदी ने कहा, ‘‘जब पहली और दूसरी औद्योगिक क्रांति हुई तब भारत आजाद नहीं था. जब तीसरी औद्योगिक क्रांति हुई तब भारत तुरंत मिली आजादी के समक्ष खड़ी चुनौतियों से जूझ रहा था.’’ उन्होंने कहा कि आर्टिफिशियल इंटेलीजेंस, मशीन लर्निंग, इंटरनेट ऑफ थिंग्स, ब्लॉकचेन और बिग डेटा में देश को नई ऊंचाइयों पर ले जाने की क्षमता है.

यह भी पढ़ें : बूथ कार्यकर्ताओं से बोले PM मोदी- चुनाव जीतना किसी को परास्त करने का अहंकार नहीं, ये सेवा करने का एक अवसर है

मोदी ने अपनी सरकार की उपलब्धियां गिनाते हुए कहा कि दूरसंचार की पहुंच का घनत्व 93 प्रतिशत हो गया है और अब करीब 50 करोड़ भारतीयों के हाथों में मोबाइल है. उन्होंने कहा कि भारत विश्व में सबसे अधिक मोबाइल इंटरनेट उपभोग करने वाला देश है और दरें भी सबसे कम हैं. उन्होंने कहा कि मोबाइल डेटा उपभोग पिछले चार साल में 30 गुणा बढ़ा है.


VIDEO : इनवेस्टर्स समिट में पहुंचे पीएम मोदी

मोदी ने कहा कि 120 करोड़ से अधिक भारतीयों के पास आधार है. उन्होंने कहा कि सभी ढाई लाख ग्राम पंचायतों को ऑप्टिकल फाइबर से जोड़ने का काम जल्दी ही पूरा कर लिया जाएगा. 2014 में सिर्फ 59 पंचायत ऑप्टिकल फाइबर से जुड़े थे जबकि अभी एक लाख पंचायत इससे जुड़े हुए हैं.

(इनपुट भाषा से)

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Fourth Industrial Revolution To Change Nature Of Jobs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi allayed fears of job loss due to technological development (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday allayed fears of job loss due to technological development, saying the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ will change the nature of jobs and provide more opportunities.

Speaking at the launch of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he said his government is open to policy changes to help reap benefits of the fourth industrial revolution.

“Our diversity, our demographic potential, fast-growing market size and digital infrastructure has potential to make India a global hub for research and implementation,” he said.

While the previous industrial revolutions eluded the country, India’s contribution to the 4th Industrial Revolution would be astonishing, he said.

“India was not independent when the first and second industrial revolution happened. When third industrial revolution happened, India was struggling with challenges of just attained independence,” he said.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, blockchain and big data hold potential to take India to new heights, the Prime Minister said.

Reeling out the achievements of his government, PM Modi said tele-density has increased to 93 per cent and nearly 50 crore Indians now have mobiles.

India is the largest mobile data consuming country in the world and also the one with the cheapest data rates, he said, adding mobile data consumption has increased 30 times in four years.

Over 120 crore Indians have Aadhaar, he said, adding work to connect all the 2.5 lakh village panchayats with optic fibre would be completed soon.

In 2014, only 59 panchayats were connected with optic fibre while presently 1 lakh are connected, PM Modi said.

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Chhattisgarh government will distributed free mobile on August 1 under the Communication Revolution scheme । छगः रमन सरकार की संचार क्रांति योजना के तहत 1 अगस्त से बांटे जाएंगे फ्री मोबाइल understands that your privacy is important to you and we are committed for being transparent about the technologies we use.  This cookie policy explains how and why cookies and other similar technologies may be stored on and accessed from your device when you use or visit websites that posts a link to this Policy (collectively, “the sites”). This cookie policy should be read together with our Privacy Policy.

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Revolution, not reform, needed for judiciary to service commoners: Justice Gogoi – जस्टिस गोगोई ने कहा

जस्टिस गोगोई ने कहा - आम आदमी की सेवा के लिए न्यायपालिका को 'सुधार नहीं क्रांति की जरूरत'

सुप्रीम कोर्ट के वरिष्ठ न्यायाधीश न्यायमूर्ति रंजन गोगोई.

नई दिल्ली: सुप्रीम कोर्ट के वरिष्ठ न्यायाधीश न्यायमूर्ति रंजन गोगोई ने कहा कि न्यायपालिका को आम आदमी की सेवा के योग्य बनाए रखने के लिए ‘सुधार नहीं एक क्रांति’ की जरूरत है. न्यायमूर्ति गोगोई ने साथ ही इस बात पर भी जोर दिया कि न्यायपालिका को और ‘अधिक सक्रिय’ रहना होगा.

यह भी पढ़ें : सुप्रीम कोर्ट में दिखा जजों की नियुक्ति को लेकर केंद्र और न्यायपालिका में टकराव

न्यायमूर्ति गोगोई ने तीन मूर्ति भवन के प्रेक्षागृह में ‘न्याय की दृष्टि’ विषय पर तीसरे रामनाथ गोयनका स्मृति व्याख्यान में कहा कि न्यायपालिका ‘उम्मीद की आखिरी किरण’ है और वह ‘महान संवैधानिक दृष्टि का गर्व करने वाला संरक्षक’ है. इस पर समाज का काफी विश्वास है. उन्होंने समाचार पत्र ‘इंडियन एक्सप्रेस’ में ‘हाउ डेमोक्रेसी डाइज’ शीर्षक से प्रकाशित एक लेख का उल्लेख करते हुए कहा कि ‘… स्वतंत्र न्यायाधीश और मुखर पत्रकार लोकतंत्र की रक्षा करने वाली अग्रिम पंक्ति हैं …’


VIDEO : न्यायपालिका और सरकार में बढ़ता टकराव

उन्होंने न्याय प्रदान करने की ‘धीमी प्रक्रिया’ पर चिंता जताई और कहा कि यह ऐतिहासिक चुनौती रही है.

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Justice Ranjan Gogoi At Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture On Judiciary For Common Man Need Revolution, Not Reform

New Delhi: 

A “revolution, not reform” is needed to keep the institution of judiciary serviceable for the common man, senior Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi said today, asserting that the judiciary would have to be more “pro-active” and on the “front foot”.

The assertions were made by Justice Gogoi, who is the senior-most judge and is likely to be recommended to succeed Chief Justice Dipak Misra on his retirement on October 2.

Delivering the third Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture on “Vision of Justice”, the judge told a packed Teen Murti Bhavan auditorium here that the judiciary was the “last bastion of hope” and has been “a proud guardian of the great constitutional vision”. The institution has been endowed with great societal trust.

Justice Gogoi, who along with Justices J Chelameswar (since retired), M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph had held a controversial January 12 presser in which a litany of allegations were made against the Chief Justice of India, also said that “independent journalists and sometimes noisy judges” were the first line of defence for democracy.

Referring to an article (from The Economist) titled ‘How Democracy Dies’ published in the Indian Express, he said that “…independent judges and noisy journalists are democracy’s first line of defence … Reports of the death of democracy are greatly exaggerated. But the least bad system of government ever devised, is in trouble. It needs defenders.”

“I agree, but will only suggest a slight modification in today’s context – not only independent judges and noisy journalists, but even independent journalists and sometimes noisy judges,” Justice Gogoi said.

He said that in the first 50 years of independence, the court has created a very sound jurisprudence which “we are reaping now”.

“It is the inertia really that has kept us going till now. But the way things stand today, court processes are a trial even before the trial has begun. While I cannot say if it is a collective failure on our part, but for a nation governed by the rule of law, is it not a matter of concern that to this extent at least, we are defying the idea of inclusiveness?

“Not a reform, but a revolution is what it needs to be able to meet the challenges on the ground and to keep this institution serviceable for a common man and relevant for the nation,” Justice Gogoi said.

He expressed concern over “inefficiency” and “slow processes” in the administration of justice which, he said, have been historical challenges.

“The judiciary today is not a poor workman who blames his tools, but it is a workman with no tools. I am not going to saddle you with the figures that we keep consuming every day on pendency, arrears and judges’ strength but in the light of what a French author had once said ‘Everything has been said already, but as no one listens, we must begin again’.”

The judge said for the effectiveness of the judgments to show, the justice dispensation system has to be made more result-oriented and more focussed on enforcement.

He made a reference of noted journalist and politician Arun Shourie who had suggested that he wondered if the judiciary was not being an “accessory to the resulting deterioration”.

“I find it difficult to agree wholeheartedly. But I will certainly say that the judiciary must certainly be more pro-active, more on the front foot. This is what I would call as redefining its role as an institution in the matters of enforcement and efficacy of the spirit of its diktats, of course subject to constitutional morality (separation of powers) again.

“I will even go ahead to say that the institution, at all levels, needs to become more dynamic in the matters of interpretation of laws. And, this is what I mean to say by a constitutional moment of its own kind. However, it is going to be a tall order, both at the micro level and the macro level, because both come with their unique sets of challenges,” Justice Gogoi said.

Justice Gogoi said there was a pressing need to explore the endless limits of legal services mechanism, legal awareness and legal empowerment of the marginalised in this vastly unequal society.

He said Ramnath Goenka had once stated that while civil liberties will have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, they will have everything to fear from the union of the judiciary with either the executive or the legislature.

“I would like to believe, this is why, Ramnathji had also said that ‘fierce independence’ is indeed the bedrock of justice. But I would like to add that ‘independence’ must always be responsible with due regard to the established constitutional values.

“This institution is the last bastion of hope and the one that the citizenry believes firmly, will give justice to them, come what may. And it has. The judiciary, with whatever little it has had at its hand, has been a proud guardian of the great constitutional vision. It fills me with immense pride to see that as an institution, the judiciary has been endowed with great societal trust,” he said. 

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Sushma Swaraj Introduces Passport Seva App To Bring Passport Revolution

Sushma Swaraj said there are 260 working passport centres.

New Delhi:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched a Passport Seva app for seamless application and issue of passports.

Addressing the officials of several Passport Seva Kendras and members of the Ministry of External Affairs on the occasion of Passport Seva Diwas on Tuesday, Ms Swaraj mentioned that the two new schemes – passport application from anywhere in India, and filling passport application forms from mobile phones, would make the procedure for obtaining passports simpler.

While terming it as a “passport revolution”, Ms Swaraj said, “I found that two things which were directly connected to the Indian citizens were a passport and visas required for undertaking Haj pilgrimage.”

While the Haj pilgrimage went to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the passport remained with the External Affairs Ministry.

She further said that the new passport centres now function in separate northeast regions of the country as opposed to a single centre in Guwahat, which catered to the passport seekers of all the neighbouring regions up until now.

“In the first two phases, we announced 251 passports registration centres out of which 212 centres are already established. In the third phase, 38 additional centres were announced out of which two centres have been operationalised,” she added.

Ms Swaraj further informed that in total, there are 260 working passport centres, which will be expanded to all Lok Sabha constituencies in the near future.

Earlier, a meeting took place between Women and Child Development Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs, in which the participating ministers discussed steps to be taken for issuance of passport and further helped in making passport issuance form as citizen-friendly.

Currently, the officers of the External Affairs Ministry are making a list of areas where new passport centres will be made.

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Syria’s Graffiti Kids Who Sparked Revolution, Now Brace For Regime Attack

Moawiya and Samer Sayasina, who are unrelated but share a common family name, took up arms in 2013.

Daraa, Syria:  “Your turn, Doctor.” Seven years after scribbling the anti-Assad slogan that sparked Syria’s war, activists-turned-rebels Moawiya and Samer Sayasina are bracing themselves for a regime assault on their hometown Daraa.

They were just 15 when they and friends, inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions they saw on television, daubed a groundbreaking message on one of the southern city’s walls in the spring of 2011.

“We’d been following the protests in Egypt and Tunisia, and we saw them writing slogans on their walls like ‘Freedom’ and ‘Down with the regime’,” said Moawiya, now 23.

“We got a can of spray paint and we wrote ‘Freedom. Down with the regime. Your turn, Doctor’,” referring to President Bashar al-Assad, a trained ophthalmologist.

Within two days, security forces stormed their homes and detained the boys, who are unrelated but share a common family name.

“They tortured us to find out who had provoked us to write it,” Moawiya said.

The teenagers’ detention prompted a wave of angry protests demanding their release, in what many point to as the spark to Syria’s nationwide uprising.

syria graffiti boys

Moawiya and Samer lost many friends to the war, including classmates from school.

“I’m proud of what we did back then, but I never thought we’d get to this point, that the regime would destroy us like this. We thought we’d get rid of it,” he said.

The words that sparked the revolution more than seven years ago are no longer visible today, covered up under a coat of black paint.

‘All Because Of Us’

Samer, also now 23, remembers emerging from detention in March 2011 to find his whole country in uproar against the government.

“We were in jail for about a month and ten days. When we got out, we saw protests in Daraa and all over Syria,” he said.

Violently smothered, the demonstrations evolved into a conflict that has since killed more than 350,000 people and thrown millions out of their homes.

“In the beginning, I was proud of being the reason for the revolution against oppression. But with all the killing, the displacement and the homelessness over the years, sometimes I feel guilty,” said Samer.

“Those people who died or fled, all this destruction — it all happened because of us.”

During the first months of protests, security forces rounded up dozens of people in Daraa, including 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib.

After he was tortured to death, according to his family, he became one of the early symbols of the Damascus regime’s brutal repression.

With protests melting into civil war and rebels seizing territory, Moawiya and Samer took up arms in 2013.

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The words that sparked the revolution more than seven years ago are no longer visible today

But the rebel movement has since fragmented and suffered a string of devastating blows, with the regime with Russian support retaking more than half the country.

Last month, the army regained full control of Damascus for the first time since 2012, and Assad has now turned to the cradle of the uprising against him.

In a recent interview, the president gave Daraa’s rebels two options: negotiated withdrawal or full-fledged attack.

‘Write It All’

But the young men who first demanded he step down remain determined to fight, as they once wrote, until the regime falls.

“The regime’s threats of entering Daraa don’t scare me,” Moawiya said.

“Assad’s regime may have weapons, but so do we. The only difference is he has warplanes and we have God Almighty.”

He refuses any settlement for Daraa like those that have preceded it for the armed opposition to evacuate other parts of Syria.

“I’d prefer death to Bashar al-Assad’s reconciliation,” he said.

Going out on patrol, Moawiya swapped his civilian clothes for grey military-style trousers and a black sweater.

He moved between destroyed buildings with just sandals on his feet, a Kalashnikov in his hand and his eye trained on the horizon for any movement.

Moawiya and Samer lost many friends to the war, including classmates from school who became their cellmates in jail.

“We were a group of young guys,” recalled Samer.

“Some are dead now. Some fled. Some are still fighting,” he said, counting off friends who died in clashes in 2015 or subsequent bombing raids on Daraa.

Moawiya too struck a nostalgic tone.

“We grew up on revolution, on weapons and on fighting. We started to lose friends, to bury them with our own hands. We grew up on war and destruction,” he said.

Despite the losses, he insisted: “My opinion of the revolution hasn’t changed. For us, the revolution continues.”

“When I get married and have a son, I’ll tell him what happened to me. I’ll teach him to write on the wall whenever he sees injustice — not to be afraid of anyone, and to write it all.”

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Tejashwi Yadav Meets Rahul Gandhi, Quotes Wordsworth On French Revolution

Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav are known to share a warm rapport.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav, the leader of Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, had a 40-minute meeting in Delhi today, sources said. The two leaders discussed the political situation in the country and in Bihar, the sources said.

After the meeting, Tejashwi Yadav tweeted a photo of them together, quoting a couple of lines from British poet William’s Wordsworth. The poem is titled “The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement”.

A second tweet read: “We are here not to form govts but to transform the lives of the downtrodden people against the wishes of current right wing authoritarian regime. Our togetherness is aimed at protecting constitution,secular-democratic values & goals of Social Justice. We shall fight, we shall win”.

In the backdrop of an energetic opposition push for a combined front against the BJP, Tejahswi Yadav has continued his attacks on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in tandem with the Congress. Both RJD and the  Congress were thrown out of power in Bihar last year after Nitish Kumar swapped their Grand Alliance for a partnership with the BJP.

Last month, after the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala invited the BJP to form the government as the single largest party when the state returned a split verdict, Tejashwi Yadav argued that under that rule, his party should also get to form the government in Bihar.

His tweets, pushing for a meeting with the Bihar Governor, triggered a virtual rush to the Governor’s House in three other states, where the Congress was the single largest party.   

Earlier this month, after winning the by-elections in Bihar’s Jokihat, he had he had benefitted from the unity of the opposition Congress, Samajwadi Party, Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal and Mayawati to take on the BJP in Kairana.  

Despite a nearly two decade difference in their ages, Mr Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav is known to share a warm rapport. Last year, the 47-year-old Congress chief had called up on Tejashwi Yadav to wish him on his birthday.

In November, they met and shared a meal at a restaurant in South Delhi. The photos were later shared by Tejashwi Yadav, with a tweet that read, “Thank you @OfficeOfRG for taking me out for wonderful lunch. Feel appreciated and grateful. Again thanks for taking out time out of ur tight schedule”.

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Ireland Votes To Overturn Abortion Ban, ‘Culmination Of A Quiet Revolution,’ Prime Minister Says

In Dublin constituencies, the vote was running 75 percent for repeal. (AFP)

DUBLIN, Ireland:  The Irish are poised to end, perhaps in a landslide, one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the developed world, according to incoming tallies of the votes cast in Friday’s referendum.

The early count of votes on Saturday mirrored the results of two respected exit polls that suggested a decisive win for the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution. The 1983 amendment enshrined an “equal right to life” for mothers and “the unborn” and outlawed almost all abortions – even in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality or risk to maternal health.

“What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years,” said Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

After the vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment has been certified, Ireland’s political leadership has promised that Parliament will quickly pass a new law guaranteeing unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks, and beyond that in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities or serious risks to a mother’s health. That would bring Ireland’s access to abortion more in line with the other 27 members of the European Union.

Varadkar said the new legislation would be enacted by the end of the year. “The people knew what we had in mind, and I don’t think it would be right to depart from that at all,” he said.

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Campaigners celebrate the result of Irish abortion referendum, at Dublin Castle in Dublin (AFP)

Simon Harris, Ireland’s Minister of Health, said a bill would be written this summer. “The people of Ireland have told us to get on with it,” he said.

Harris said he was as surprised as everyone with the high turnout and outsized vote for repeal. “If you can find anybody today who said they were expecting this majority, I’d love to meet them. I don’t think anybody was expecting this margin,” he said.

Campaigners for repeal, watching the votes being counted in auditoriums and civil halls around Ireland, were tweeting that most boxes contained a majority for repeal.

In Dublin constituencies, the vote was running 75 percent for repeal. In Roscommon-Galway, the only constituency to reject same-sex marriage in the 2015 referendum, the “Yes” vote for overturning the abortion ban was at 57 percent, with two-thirds of the ballots counted.

The exit polls released by Irish broadcaster RTE and another from the Irish Times saw two-thirds of the vote going to repeal. Women outpolled men in the exits, but men still supported the yes side. So did farmers and rural counties. Support was largest among the young and urban.

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About 3.3 million Irish had registered to vote, and many appeared to be returning from abroad to cast ballots (AFP)

Irish Times columnist Finan O’Toole tweeted: “For all the attempts to divide us into tribes, the exit poll shows that every part of Ireland has voted in broadly the same way, which is to trust women and make them fully equal citizens.”

The tally of the vote began at 9 a.m. Saturday, with a final count expected later in the day. About 3.3 million Irish had registered to vote, and many appeared to be returning from abroad to cast ballots.

Reports from polling stations around the country indicated turnout of 70 percent in some areas, the highest ever for a referendum vote. By comparison, turnout was just over 60 percent when Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015.

In Ireland, seeking or providing an abortion has been punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Since 2013, there has been an exception for when a mother’s life is at risk.

“I feel very emotional. I’m especially grateful to the women of Ireland who came forward to provide their personal testimony about the hard times that they endured, the stress and the trauma that they experienced because of the eighth amendment,” said Ireland’s Minister for Children and youth affairs Katherine Zappone.

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Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the new legislation would be enacted by the end of the year. (AFP)

John McGuirk, a leader of one of the prominent anti-abortion groups, called Save the 8th, called the vote was “a tragedy of historic proportions.”

On Facebook, McGuirk’s organization posted, “Abortion was wrong yesterday. It remains wrong today. ” The group said it would fight the legislation.

Although Ireland bans abortion, it does not restrict travel for it. Researchers estimate that about 3,500 women make the trip to Britain each year and that another 2,000 end their pregnancies with pills they buy over the internet and smuggle into Ireland.

One of the central figures in Ireland’s abortion debate has been Amanda Mellet. In 2011, Mellet was forced to choose between carrying a dying fetus to term in Ireland or to travel abroad for an abortion.

In June 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found Ireland subjected Mellet to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, while also violating her right to privacy. The U.N. decision required Ireland, for the first time, to compensate a woman for the expenses and emotional distress tied to an abortion. It also called on Ireland to amend its laws criminalizing abortion, including its constitution, if necessary.

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‘Yes’ campaigners react while they waited for the official result of the Irish abortion referendum, at Dublin Castle (AFP)

Many saw the vote as a blunt rebuttal to the Catholic hierarchy, which has been beset by scandals over sexual abuse, financial crimes and its historic treatment of women.

Social change in Ireland has been seismic. In the 1990s, homosexual activity was criminal here. Divorce was forbidden. It was still difficult to buy a condom, the sale of which was outlawed until 1985.

Within a generation, all of that has changed, bringing the majority-Catholic nation of about 4.8 million people into line with the rest of Western Europe. The pace of change over the past three years alone has been striking, with Ireland stepping out in 2015 as the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by referendum.

“I’ve gone from being a criminal to being able to marry a man,” said David Norris, a scholar of James Joyce credited with leading the campaign to overturn Ireland’s anti-gay statute in 1993. He was elected to the Senate in 1987 – the first openly gay person elected to public office in Ireland – a full decade, he said, after he became the first person to put abortion on an election manifesto, in 1977.

“It wasn’t a particularly popular idea, but I thought it was time to do it,” Norris said in an interview. “It’s an issue of human rights.”

Beginning with the issue of contraception in the 1960s, public opinion began to veer from the teachings of the Catholic Church – as the Pope reaffirmed the prohibition on birth control against the recommendations of a commission comprising theologians, physicians and others.

“That affected people’s real sexual and reproductive lives,” Norris said. “The majority of people just ignored the teachings of the Church.” But “the nail in the coffin,” he added, was “the succession of really appalling scandals about mistreatment of women and molestation of children.”

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A mural of Savita Halappanavar put up on the day of the Abortion Referendum in Dublin. (AFP)

Outrage over clerical abuse compounded doubts about religious authority, said Gladys Ganiel, a political sociologist at Queen’s University Belfast. People did not cease identifying as Catholic, or believing in God, but became more comfortable following their own conscience over Church dictates.

The European Values Study found in 2008 that 92 percent of Irish people believed in God, representing a drop of only 5 percent since 1981. Still, the share of the population identifying as Catholic has diminished markedly in a short period of time, from 84 percent in 2011 to 78 percent in 2016, according to census data. The figure was 92 percent in 1991.

Ganiel said economic changes, combined with eventual loosening of laws on the sale of contraceptives, undermined an alliance between priests and mothers that was central in maintaining Irish conservatism.

“This begins in the 1960s, but somebody stood on the accelerator in the 1990s when things started coming out about Church abuse,” Ganiel said. “The 1990s are also when Ireland becomes economically prosperous for the first time. It’s a perfect storm. Religious authority declines in Ireland from a much higher peak than the rest of the world. It’s quite dramatic, but with hindsight, it’s not as unexpected.”

Daithí Ó Corráin, a historian at Dublin City University, said familiar patterns have transformed the role of religion in Irish society – including urbanization, greater levels of education and generational differences.

“Ireland is just a very different country now than it was in 1983,” he said, referring to the year in which the Eighth Amendment was endorsed by 67 percent of voters. “I suppose after contraception, after divorce, after marriage equality, this – legal abortion – really is the last bastion.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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