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Women and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland


This series publishes critical perspectives from women peacebuilders in Northern Ireland and remembers a silenced history in which women have been - and remain - crucial to the peace process.

With thanks to the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Moving beyond political paralysis in Northern Ireland

With Stormont in crisis, it's time to bring everyone to the table and re-work the Good Friday Agreement. This must be the last engineered 'crisis' to threaten the peace process.

From Northern Ireland to Korea: the power of nonviolence and love in action

As thirty international women peacemakers prepare to cross the DMZ with women from North and South Korea, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks in Pyongyang of the power of forgiveness.

Ending the humiliation of women in Northern Ireland

Women demanding democratic participation in Northern Ireland's peace process are using human rights principles to confront the hostility and exclusion they face from those in control of decison-making structures.

What does the Stormont House Agreement mean for women in Northern Ireland?

The Stormont House Agreement ended a political crisis, but it brings women no closer to economic equality or equal participation in building a sustainable peace.

Addressing Northern Ireland’s incomplete peace: young feminists speak out

Organising around a belief in feminism’s ability to articulate and represent visions of peace and politics, a new generation of feminists is emerging to challenge the traditional rigidity of Northern Irish politics. 

The Fall: extreme violence as a distorted mirror of post-conflict Belfast

The most watched drama on the BBC for 20 years,The Fall, is about a serial killer in Belfast who murders and 'poses' his women victims in the nude. Is the violence gratuitous, or does it capture the current post-conflict mood and mindset of Belfast?

Northern Ireland: a transformative strategy for women, peace and security

Moving beyond the paralysing difference of opinion about whether the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland constituted an armed conflict, women peacebuilders have produced a strategic guide which places international women, peace and security goals in a domestic framework for action.

The marching season: a call for a new vision in Northern Ireland

As the climax of the 'marching season' in Northern Ireland approaches, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire recalls how the cycle of violence was broken when the civil community united during the Troubles and called for an end all the violence. Today she calls upon politicians to listen to the voices of women and youth

Singing the backbone: women’s stories of Northern Ireland

“What’s interesting about our lives?” The process of creating a play from nine women’s testimonies shows we are living in a two hundred year present, where bearing witness is the most powerful gift we can offer.

The politics of defining 'armed conflict' in Northern Ireland

It is hard to see the British Government's resistance to implementing UNSCR 1325 as anything other than denying women and girls their rightful place in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Women in Northern Ireland argue that their full participation at all levels of decision-making is crucial to peacebuilding.

'None of us have the right to be who we were': a tribute to a peacebuilder

Among Northern Ireland’s peacemakers Inez McCormack was unusual: she was an architect of the parallel peace process, which sought equality as the prerequisite of peace and reconciliation

'Peace will bring prosperity': Northern Ireland’s big lie?

Feminist and trades union activists are leading the fight back against neoliberal economic policies in Northern Ireland, arguing that genuine peace can only be built with women's participation in the economy on an equal footing, and within alternative, progressive and democratic economic systems. 

Dealing with the past: "There must never be a hierarchy of pain"

"I would like you to come with me to explore the past through the eyes of victims and survivors. It is difficult a very difficult place to get to and an even more difficult place to leave". Kathryn Stone, Victims' Commissioner for Northern Ireland.

Women in Northern Ireland: sharing the learning

In the last two years, more than 600 women peacebuilders have met on a cross-community and cross-border basis to share their experiences of working for peace in Northern Ireland. Lynn Carvill reports on the knowledge shared, as the struggle to build a just and lasting peace continues.

Women in Northern Ireland should be leading peacebuilders again

Women Together played a crucial role in the peace process. As violence and tension mount again, Anne Carr argues that women must be leading peacebuilders, driving a Civic Forum to be a central voice for peace. Part 2 of a two part piece (see Part 1).

Women Together in the darkest days of the 'Troubles'

Women Together brought Catholic and Protestant women into talks and cooperation in the 1970s, standing in solidarity against the government and paramilitary groups to help end the violence in Northern Ireland. Anne Carr describes their peacework. Part one of a two-part piece (see Part 2).

Dealing with Northern Ireland’s past: a guide to the Haass-O’Sullivan talks

In late 2013, negotiations seeking to address the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland failed to reach agreement. As part of our series on women and peace building in Nothern Ireland, Louise Mallinder presents a guide to the talks, the reasons for their failure and the urgency of continuing to press for agreement.

Insulting the women of Northern Ireland

Racist abuse directed at the politician Anna Lo is indicative of the disrespect shown to women in Northern Ireland who are speaking up for peace at a time of rising tensions. Anne McVicker told Niki Seth-Smith it is time to go "back to basics".

Why are the hopes of the Good Friday Peace Agreement still unfulfilled?

At the launch of 50.50's series on women peacebuilders in Northern Ireland, we explore the connection between the failure to include women at all levels of political life in building a shared future and the ongoing search for peace in Northern Ireland.

Excluded and silenced: Women in Northern Ireland after the peace process

There is a backlash against women’s agency in Northern Ireland in a number of different ways, all of which impact on the ability of women to participate fully in initiatives intended to deal with the legacy of the past and support the transition out of conflict.

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