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NWC’s All-Island Women’s Forum

Published: Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Led by the National Women’s Council (NWC), the All-Island Women’s Forum aims to address underrepresentation of women and further develop women’s role in peacebuilding and civic society. The Women’s Forum will also support building sustainable North South links, provide a space for marginalised communities, and build better understanding and inter-community links. 

The objective of the Women’s Forum is to provide a space for women on an all-island basis for cross border cooperation and dialogue.

The Forum represents a contribution by the National Women’s Council to the Irish Government’s Shared Island initiative in the Department of an Taoiseach, by enhancing civil society links and supporting engagement by women, across communities and traditions on the island, on issues of common concern.

The Forum successfully applied for a grant through the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Reconciliation Fund, and have been successful in additional funding to continue this work into the second term of the forum through the Reconciliation Fund Annual Grand 2022/2023.

Forum Chairperson: Margaret Martin, NWC Chairperson

Forum Facilitator: Ciara McHugh (contact ciaram@nwci.ie)

Forum Administrator: Jane Finn (contact janef@nwci.ie)

Areas of Work: 

Women's Representation: Examining the development of an all-island approach to increasing women's representation in peace builidng and reconciliation, political and civic life. 

We examine the barriers to women's participation and leadership in line with UN resolution 1325, UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, and UN General Assembly Resolution 66/130. 

This work explores women's participation in civic life, public boards and bodies and makes recommendations to advance all island civic engagement in decision making including the introduction of gender quotas.  

North / South Relations: Working with other All-Island Organisations to develop the practicalities of all-island work. This work explores areas of commonality and identify actions that can be taken to harmonise response on an all-island basis and highlight issues that disproportionately effect women. This work also identifies opportunities for incorporating an east-west dimension. 

Forum Members:

Nicole Parkinson Kelly, Chairperson, NI Youth Forum
Tara Grace Connolly, Youth Activist / Previous UN Youth Delegate                 
Danielle Roberts, Senior Policy Development Officer, Here NI
Megan McDermott, Project Support Officer, Centre for Cross Border Studies
Kimberly Robertson, Vice-chair, East Belfast GAA
Eileen Chan Hu, Founder and Executive Director of CRAICNI
Kendall Bousquet, Migrant Centre NI     
Joanna McMinn, Community Development and Feminist Activist
Jane Morrice, Director Integrated Education Fund, Hon President European Movement NI, founding member NI Women’s Coalition             
Avila Kilmurray, Migration and Peacebuilding Executive at The Social Change Initiative, Author and Founding Member of NI Women’s Coalition
Alexandra Brennan, Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group   
Eileen Weir, Community Activist             
Paula McAliskey, Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network        
Elaine Crory, Women’s Resource and Development Agency
Emma De Souza, Writer and Campaigner 
Nuala Toman, Head of Policy, Communications, Information and Advocacy at Disability Action NI
Sarah Mason, CEO of Women’s Aid Federation NI             
Jonna Monaghan, Project Co-ordinator, Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform          
Beth O’Reilly, President of Union of Students Ireland
Síona Cahill, Campaigner and Radio Contributor, one of Irish Examiner’s ‘100 women changing Ireland in 2021’          
Collette O’Regan, Senior Training and Advocacy Co-ordinator, LGBT Ireland 
Dr Mary Murphy, Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration, University College Cork Amina Moustafa, Women’s Leadership Programme Manager, Glencree Peace Centre       
Mary Moynihan, Artistic Director, Smashing Times                          
Dr Salome Mbugua, Head of Operations & Strategy, AkiDwa         
Dr Jennifer Okeke, Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator, Immigrant Council of Ireland                           
Ethel Buckley, Deputy General Secretary, Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU)
Tara Farrell, CEO, Longford Women’s Link                          
Aoife Price, Human Rights and Disability Researcher, Academic and Activist  
Miriam Holt, National Co-ordinator, Women’s Collective Ireland              
Lydia Gratis, President of the European Union for Deaf Youth (EUDY), Anti-racism Educator & Activist, Black Wellness Content Creator, Deaf Youth Advocate.   
Ailbhe Smyth, Academic, Feminist and LGBTQ Activist      
Louise Lovett,     
Denise Charlton, CEO, The Community Foundation of Ireland