A movement stalled: outcomes of women’s campaign for equalities and inclusion in the Northern Ireland peace process

Citation:

Cockburn, Cynthia. 2013. “A movement stalled: outcomes of women’s campaign for equalities and inclusion in the Northern Ireland peace process.” Interface 5 (1): 151-82.

Author: Cynthia Cockburn

Abstract:

The Good Friday Agreement signed in Belfast in April 1998, and the post-conflict constitution embodied in the ensuing Northern Ireland Act, differed in one important respect from most other peace accords. Thanks to the input of civil society, and particularly of the women’s voluntary, trade union and community sectors, the Agreement was not limited to a settlement between the belligerent parties. It envisioned a transformed society, rid of the inequities of a colonial past and reshaped according to principles of inclusion and human rights. The persuasiveness of this agenda lay in its promise to address the poverty, disadvantage and exclusion afflicting the working class of both Catholic and Protestant communities. This article draws on a re-interviewing in 2012 of feminist activists with whom the author engaged in a major project in the 1990s. It evaluates the extent to which the principles and policies for which their movement struggled have been enacted in Northern Ireland governance in the intervening decade and a half.

Keywords: post-conflict, civil society, women, human rights, working class, Catholic, Protestant, feminist activists

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Nonviolence, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Religion, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Ireland

Year: 2013

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