Surveying Politics of Peace, Gender, Conflict and Identity in Northern Ireland: The Case of the Derry Peace Women in 1972


Callaghan, Marie Hammond. 2002. “Surveying Politics of Peace, Gender, Conflict and Identity in Northern Ireland: The Case of the Derry Peace Women in 1972.” Women’s Studies International Forum 25 (1): 33–49. doi:10.1016/S0277-5395(02)00216-9.

Author: Marie Hammond Callaghan


This article introduces the story of the Derry Peace Women (DPW) founded in May 1972, at the height of the contemporary Northern Irish conflict. Located in Catholic working-class nationalist and republican areas of Derry City and driven by civil rights aspirations as well as maternalist motivations, the DPW reflected some women’s efforts in one of the most severely affected areas of the North of Ireland to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. They appear to have played limited roles in facilitating republican cease-fires in 1972, as well as encouraging diplomatic efforts between republican paramilitaries and officials in the Northern Ireland government. However, fundamental structural inequalities, including gender conditions, in an increasingly polarised and militarised society, ultimately left them little political power or ‘room to manoeuvre’.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nonviolence, Peace Processes, Political Participation Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2002

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