Lean In Belfast takes centre stage with Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was interviewed by Belfast entrepreneur Nuala Murphy at a recent event in the British Library about her Lean In journey and latest book, Option B. “It wasn’t even on my radar that one day I would be interviewing Sheryl Sandberg,” said Nuala. “I always hoped we could ‘bring Sheryl to Belfast’, but I didn’t think she would bring Lean In Belfast to the centre stage at The British Library in London for the first community-led event … Read more

Leaning in. The quiet revolution.

As International Women’s Day draws to a close for 2017, I’ve been reflecting on why it is necessary to have such a day. It is simple. International Women’s Day (IWD) is about acknowledging that in 2017, women still face discrimination and are under represented in many aspects of public life. Discrimination comes in many guises. For example, from the blatant sacking and sidelining of women who are pregnant, to everyday sexism, such as using derogatory language which subtly undermines women. … Read more

Are women making their mark in political leadership?

Regardless of whether you agree with their politics or not, the appointment of Michele O’Neill as Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland should be welcomed. Northern Ireland, potentially, could have female First and Deputy First Ministers. Of course that depends on how votes are cast on 2 March, however we now have women leading our two largest parties and if nothing else, it shows that it is possible to reach the top. Combine this with the leadership of Naomi Long … Read more

Mr Trump: What you are talking about is assault, it is a crime, and it is not okay.

It’s no secret that Trump is fond of using shocking language when talking about women. Between saying about his daughter “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” And bragging – which he is remarkably good at doing – that “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” I was beginning to think that nothing Trump said could shock me. Last week, however, a recording has emerged that … Read more

#Women1916 “…the war broke out in families as well as society…”

This discussion is worth taking time to listen to, not just because it looks at the Rising from the point of view of women’s history, but it also considers why the social radicalism of many who took part seemed to vanish so quickly. The panel consists of Prof Roy Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History, Hertford College, Oxford, Prof Senia Paseta, Professor of Modern History, St Hugh’s College, Oxford and Dr. Lauren Arrington, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Irish … Read more

Monica McWilliams – What difference does conflict or peace make for women? #feile15

Power works through dominion, but it also works through dependence … [yet] power can be changed. Wearing DDP Barra McGrory’s glasses until her own were located, Prof Monica McWilliams delivered a lecture this evening in St Mary’s University College on Conflict or Peace: What difference does it make for women? as part of Féile an Phobail. The academic and former Human Rights Commissioner highlighted instances of violence and discrimination against women in conflicts around the world, including Northern Ireland. The … Read more

#SluggerSoapbox: It’s about time women were celebrated, but we’ll have to do it for ourselves!

The following is from Orlaith Hendron, who is a lobbyist in the Women’s Sector in Northern Ireland. We all know people are struggling these days; we only have to go outside and take a look at the house next door where our friends used to live, and know that redundancy meant they couldn’t afford rent. We only have to see ads in church bulletins about food banks and know that there won’t be enough there to help everyone who needs … Read more

Gender Quotas & Politics – candidate quotas can improve competency of candidates of both genders! #imaginebelfast15

Prof Yvonne Galligan introduced the topic of Gender Quotas at an Imagine!2015 Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics session up at Queen’s University earlier today. Looking across national parliaments in Europe, women make up >40% in Finland, Sweden, Belgium and Spain. The UK manages a shade over 20%, and Ireland just 15%. See the slides under this post. Yvonne looked at a four-stage journey from citizen to representative and the obstacles that face someone being eligible -> aspiring -> nominated … Read more

Abortion: a common secret holding women hostage to man-made law

I recently re-watched a documentary called Daughters of the Troubles, a piece of work from the late 1990’s produced and directed by American filmmaker Marcia Rock, and written by late Belfast author Jack Holland (more commonly known to me as Dad.) It tells the story of the Troubles and the working class communities they most affected through the lives of two women, Catholic Geraldine O’Regan, and Protestant May Blood, who not only coped with the violence around them, but actively … Read more

Friday Thread: What crazy woman would pop her head through a glass ceiling?

Well, probably not in general. Definitely not in politics. And certainly not in Ireland, where in the Republic just 15% of politicians are women. But elsewhere, in the global marketplace this is changing rapidly, as Hanna Rosin points out in her TED talk: …for every two men who get a college degree, three women will do the same. Women, for the first time this year, became the majority of the American workforce. And they’re starting to dominate lots of professions … Read more

Women in Politics in Northern Ireland

The issue of women in politics, or lack of them to be more accurate has been an issue pondered by academics, pressure groups and political parties alike for years. In September 2013, Michael Potter prepared a research paper on this topic for the Northern Ireland Assembly and his findings make for sobering reading as he states; The Northern Ireland Assembly currently has 21 female Members out of a total of 108 (19.4%), although 20 women were elected in 2011, the … Read more

Abortion clinic opens in Belfast…

NORTHERN Ireland is to get its first abortion clinic next week. In one of the biggest stories of our generation – and one which will unite hardline Protestants and Catholics – it’s reported that Marie Stopes will open for business in Belfast next Thursday, with the help of former PUP leader Dawn Purvis. The organisation says it will operate within the framework of the law here, but that will do little to assuage the anger of opponents, who will see … Read more

BelTel Poll: Women for Alliance and SDLP. Men for Sinn Fein. Unionists achieve balance.

There’s other more fascinating material still coming out of the BelTel poll. Liam has some very interesting material on gender balance amongst the support for parties. Despite having the nearest to a balanced ticket and impressively promoted women to near the top, women are less likely to vote for Sinn Fein: Sinn Fein, eight of whose 29 MLAs are female, has a particular imbalance between male and female voters — 32% of those who intend to vote are men but … Read more

POTD – Putting the slap on

I reckon she had a date Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of … Read more

POTD – The mother of the Bride to be

Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the … Read more

POTD – Everyone wants to be Kate Winslet

Moochin PhotomanPhotographer and visual artist based in Belfast. I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast. My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the … Read more