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NWCI welcomes recognition of Traveller ethnicity

Published: Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has today welcomed the official recognition of ethnic status for the Traveller community in Ireland as an important step towards improving the lives of Traveller women and ensuring equality for the Traveller community in this country.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“The official State recognition of Traveller ethnicity will be an important step towards improving the lives of Traveller women and ensuring equality for the Traveller community in Ireland. It has been a long process and we want to acknowledge the role of the Traveller women and Traveller organisations involved in this journey. “

Rosaleen McDonagh, NWCI Board member and representative of Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre said,

“The official state recognition of Traveller ethnicity should mean that Traveller women can articulate sexism and racism as a lived reality, without fear of stereotyping and misrepresentation. It means that data collection will be disaggregated by ethnicity and gender across all administrative systems. Furthermore, the official recognition of Travellers’ ethnic status will enable the Government to introduce gender specific objectives, targets, activities, indicators, timeframes and adequate human and financial resources for the social inclusion of Traveller and Roma women in all policy areas."

"The recognition of Travellers’ ethnicity will also help to make the case for more resources to support the participation and representation of Traveller women in political and civic life and the development of a holistic national Traveller health strategy and action plan.”

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“NWCI has, over 30 years, built a strong relationship with Traveller organisations, particularly the National Traveller Women’s Forum and Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre. While advocating for women’s human rights, we are cognisant of the diversity of all women, particularly women who experience endemic, systematic racism on a daily basis. In solidarity and partnership, NWCI continues to support and celebrate Traveller women’s contribution to Irish society and their status as a minority ethnic group in Ireland.”


For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, Tel: 085 8619087