Carmel 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.
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.