Who Cares about Gender and Dealing with the Past? #ImagineBelfast15 (updated with audio)

ImagineBelfast15 Gender Dealing with the Past 17Carmel Roulston and (a rather hoarse) Fidelma Ashe presented a lunchtime seminar entitled Who Cases about Gender and Dealing with the Past. Part of the Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, the lunchtime sessions at UU and QUB are intended to be accessible to the general public and not too academic.

Carmel and Fidelma’s material looked at why gender has tended to be left out of many processes that are looking at the past, and contrasted them with the Haass/O’Sullivan talks [Ed – remember them?!] that engaged with a spectrum of women’s sector groups.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 00.09.37They highlighted that at the Cardiff talks with working class loyalists organised by the PSNI, only 3 of the 34 participants were women (including one from the PSNI and a facilitator).

Women’s voices were absent, a point I made in a post about a Loyalist workshop a couple of years that was discussing Has the Protestant Working Class lost out in the Peace Process?.

  • During the Q&A afterwards, topics included:
  • church influence (and its gender suppression) on our politics and how we deal with the past;
    the gender balance of elected representatives (and whether these are the only roles of power in society);
  • today’s political processes continue the lack of participation and marginalisation of the past;
  • how a woman’s story will tend to be bound back into the dominant (media) narrative.

You may also be interested in the Assembly and Executive Review Committee‘s Report on Women in Politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly that was published earlier this week and includes Fidelma’s evidence to the committee.

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Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.