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You can’t be what you can’t see

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will open #FemFest, the National Women’s Council of Ireland’s (NWCI) third annual conference for young women, by young women, in Liberty Hall today.

Joined by a panel of speakers including Sinead McSweeney, MD of Twitter in Ireland; Dil Wickremasinghe, Social Justice and Mental Health Podcaster; Louise McSharry, presenter at RTÉ 2fm; and Sinead Aherne, Captain of the Dublin Ladies Football Team, young women will be discussing the importance of the women in leadership and why young women in Ireland need more female role models.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“Over 150 young women are gathering today to discuss the issues that matter to them most. Young women want a new, inclusive model of leadership that is not just male. You can’t be what you can’t see, and right now, young women are telling us that they don’t see enough women role models in Irish society. We need to see more diverse female role models in all areas of society, including politics, business, media and the arts. Quotas and other positive measures are important for all women but will have the greatest impact for young women as future leaders in society.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“The vibrancy and energy around #FemFest shows that young women want to see change and are looking for spaces and places to make their voices heard and to make a difference. We want young women to be leaders, to be portrayed as strong, independent people in the media, to aspire to senior decision making positions, and to live in a world where they don’t have to navigate limiting gender stereotypes. The young women here today are our next generation of role models, and together with NWCI, we will smash glass ceilings and gender stereotypes, and shape a new Ireland for young women.”

Other speakers include:

Sinead McSweeney, MD of Twitter in Ireland
Dil Wickremasinghe, Social Justice and Mental Health Podcaster
Louise McSharry, presenter at RTÉ 2fm
Sinead Aherne, Captain of the Dublin Ladies Football Team
Demilade Adeniran, No Hate Speech Campaigner
Síona Cahill, Union of Students in Ireland
Anna Cosgrave, Repeal Project
Vanessa Lacey, Transgender Equality Network Ireland



If you would like to attend as a journalist or for more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104, E-mail: silkep@nwci.ie

Note to Editors:

What: #FemFest – Major Conference for Young Women aged 16-25

When: 25 November 2017

Where: Liberty Hall, Eden Quay, Dublin 1