My mission is to use feminist practices and processes that support women's movement into influential roles within their communities; and to develop gender sensitive analyses of: programmes, missions, projects, organisations thereby supporting the development of the entire community. All of my projects aim to support women and girls to reclaim their power, status and rights; with the goal of incorporating women's interests and rights into national, regional and international policies on gender, peace and security.
Women for Election
Designed and facilitated a series of seminars on Women, Politics & Post Conflict Reconciliation for the INSPIRE programme in 2015-16. This programme was for women living along the border counties who are interested in becoming politicians or political campaigners.
Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation, Women's Leadership Programme
Produced a podcast programme sharing the views of women community leaders in Northern Ireland on how Glencree has supported peace and reconciliation in their communities. The podcast is accompanied by a booklet called The Courageous Women Project.
Ireland's National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security
The National Women's Council of Ireland and Amnesty commissioned a consultancy process to inform Ireland's first national action plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Designed the methodology for gathering information, facilitated a series of workshops, recruited counsellors, gathered and analysed the data, and wrote and presented a report outlining women participant's experiences and recommendations. Over 200 women took part in a series of workshops using sensitive and creative methods to engage with women many of whom had been traumatized by conflict. The consultation included women from Northern Ireland, the border counties, Liberia, DRC, Somalia, Colombia, Darfur, and Palestine. They shared their experiences of how structural inequalities and systemic violence had impacted their lives and their exclusion from formal peace-building and decision-making processes. The process was considered highly innovative and a report outlining the findings of the consultation was circulated to the Department of Foreign Affairs and members of the Consultative Group on UNSCR 1325 to inform their decision-making on the content for the Action Plan.
Hanna's House Feminist All-Ireland Peace building Project
Worked with grassroots women’s organisations and community groups across Ireland to raise awareness of UNSCR 1325 and to discuss the legacy of the conflict on this island and its impact on women's lives. As part of this process a series of conferences took place discussing feminist truth recovery processes, peace building, education & diversity, and women's safety and protection from violence. The first phase of the project culminated in a three-day summer school at the University of Ulster, bringing together all of the strands; deepening understandings and creating future campaign platforms.
In the second phase the Good Friday Agreement and its three-strand approach was adopted as a vehicle for promoting UNSCR 1325 and its implementation throughout Ireland (North and South). As part of this process we took a lobbying delegation to the Dail (Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement) and the All Party Group on UNSCR 1325 at the Northern Ireland Assembly, Stormont.
The project concluded with a conference on “Women Delivering Peace & Security” held in Croke Park Dublin, formally opened by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. This was a historic event bringing together leaders and policy makers from the north and south for the first time to discuss the implementation of UNSCR 1325/WPS on an all-island basis.
*Photo of Nura Hagi, Somalian Human Rights Network; Shirley Graham, Hanna's House Coordinator; Judith Gillespie, Policing Service Northern Ireland; Monica McWilliams, University of Ulster at the conference in Croke Park 'Women Delivering Peace & Security' 2012, taken by Derek Speirs.