learn > news

Latest News

Vicky Phelan to open NWCI’s #FemFest

Published: Saturday, January 19, 2019

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today announced that Vicky Phelan, the inspirational women’s health campaigner will open #FemFest, Ireland’s biggest conference for young women, in Liberty Hall today.

Celebrating Dail100, and joined by a panel of speakers that includes journalist and author Martina Fitzgerald and activist Ellie Kisyombe, 200 young women will be discussing the importance of the women in leadership and why young women in Ireland need more female role models.

Vicky Phelan said,

"It is so important for young women in Ireland to hear directly from women in leadership roles, which is why I am so delighted to speak at #FemFest. I never saw myself as a leader, yet by speaking out and challenging our Government, I have assumed a leadership role. I realised early on that I had been given an opportunity and that I had to use it to effect change. My message to young women is simple. Any one of you can become leaders. FemFest will provide you with the tools to help you to become your own leader."

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“Almost 100 years to the day since the meeting of the first Dail, young women are gathering to shape their feminist future. 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. The young women here today are the leaders of tomorrow; they want their voices and experieces heard and 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 newIreland for young women.” 

Sarah Harte, speaker at #FemFest and President of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union said,

“FemFest is a completely unique event in that it offers young women a space where they can meet with and learn from other women. Skills like leadership that you can’t learn anywhere else are the focal point of the day. Events like this are one of a kind but vital in ensuring that we have more equal representation in Leinster House, in senior leadership positions and across society.”

#FemFest is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and by the Department of Justice and Equality.

Ends /

For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications and Social Media Officer, 085 8619087.