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Amplifying the voices of women in rural communities

Published: Monday, April 09, 2018

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) is inviting members and friends to join them at a meeting in Longford Women’s Link on the 10th April.  Recently NWCI had the opportunity to participate in the Irish Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.  Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Geraldine Bryne Nason was elected as Chair of the 45-member CSW for 2018 and is the first Irish person to chair the Commission.  Member states renewed their commitment to move closer to the promise that no one is left behind and to make a real difference in the lives of rural women and girls.

NWCI will share this experience with members and provide an opportunity to hear about the issues for women in rural communities with a focus on violence against women, poverty and services, rural development and women in decision making.

Catherine Lane, Policy Officer with NWCI said,

“In 2018, Ireland led the session at CSW and was successful in negotiating the agreed conclusions to improve the lives of women and girls. This is now an important opportunity to highlight equality and rights issues for women living and working in rural communities in Ireland and to consider the experiences and realities of women’s lives when developing policies and programmes in rural communities.”

Catherine Lane added,

“NWCI is drafting a paper outlining the issues for women living in rural communities. The meeting is crucial to informing this paper and ensuring that our members and women throughout Ireland have the opportunity to highlight the multiple and intersecting disadvantages they face.  Women living in rural Ireland are more likely to experience poverty, assume the responsibility and burden of care and experience additional obstacles as victims of violence. Their experiences, their role and contribution to families, communities and businesses including farms often go unacknowledged and unrecognised in our social protection system, in our rural development strategies and in decision making structures.”

Catherine Lane continued,

“Our members who are working in rural communities have made huge contributions to the advancement of equality for women, especially those most marginalised such as disabled women, Traveller and Roma women, women who are parenting alone and migrant women.   Resourcing and supporting the engagement and participation of women and girls is crucial to the future sustainability and viability of rural communities.”


For more information, please contact Sarah Maloney, Communications Assistant 085 8659721

Notes to the Editor:

  • Speakers at the event include: Ellen O Malley Dunlop; Chairperson, NWCI, Tara Farrell; Deputy CEO,Longford Women’s Link; Louise Lennon, Policy and Communication Officer, Irish Rural Link, Ann Irwin; Joint National Coordinator, Community Work Ireland

           What: Women in Rural Communities NWCI Members and Friends Meeting

           Where: Longford Women’s Link, Willow House, Ardnacassa Avenue, Longford

           When: Tuesday 10th April, 11am – 3pm

  • The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women was established in 1946 as a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women.
  • Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide. 
  • The priority theme for CSW 2018 was challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. (See here for the Agreed Conclusions).
  • Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, represented the Government at the 62nd session of the Commission.