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Cork City Council Announce Programme for International Women’s Day 22

Cork City Council and Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus are proud to launch a programme of events celebrating International Women’s Day, on Tuesday 8th March 2022.

Two virtual “connection” events for primary school students will take place on IWD 2022 through Dr. Emmanuelle Schön-Quinlivan’s Big Friendly Guide to the European Union (BFGTOEU) programme, supported by Cork City Council.  Cork City Council Women’s Caucus will join 3rd to 6th class pupils from over 170 schools nationally who are part of the programme to discuss the Caucus, its vision, aims, objectives, and gender equality in age-appropriate terms and answer the pupils’ questions.   Pupils and teachers will have been covering the topics of bias and gender equality in class in advance around the subjects of bias and gender equality and prepare artwork around specific forms of gender stereotyping.

The first online event is from 10.45 a.m. – 11.15 a.m. on March 8th with 3rd and 4th class students and the second event is from 11:30 a.m. – 12.10 p.m. with 5th and 6th class students.  Dr. Emmanuelle Schön-Quinlivan stated, “BFGTOEU is delighted to team up with Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus to #BreakTheBias. Gender equality is a priority of the European Commission. Boys and girls have a crucial role to play in fostering a gender equal society, which will strengthen our local and European democracy”. 

Cork City Library on Grand Parade will host an hour-long event titled “A Dialogue with Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus”. Caucus member Cllr. Colette Finn will read from Caroline Criado-Perez’s book “Invisible Women, Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men”, and this will be followed by a Q&A session with members of the Caucus in the City Library from 1 – 2 p.m.  For those interested but who cannot make it on that day, Invisible Women is available from Cork City Libraries in hard copy and as e-book and e-audiobook on BorrowBox.

Cork City Council and St. Peter’s Cork are also proud to make public the screening of “Endurance & Engagement: Cork City Women in the 1920’s” as part of the decade of commemorations for International Women’s Day 2022.  The short documentary, commissioned by Cork City Council looks at the lives of ordinary women in Cork City during the turbulent period of the struggle for independence and how they were impacted by the violence and unrest.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Colm Kelleher stated, “women played an extremely important role during the turbulent years of the 1920s in Ireland and particularly in Cork City. Engagement and Endurance: Cork City Women in the 1920’s explores themes of loss, political engagement, social justice, conflicting loyalties and uncovers many of the challenging conditions endured by women in those dramatic times. I wish to acknowledge the support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and congratulate everyone involved in its production.”

Deputy Lord Mayor and The Chair of Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus, Cllr. Mary Rose Desmond stated, “it is very fitting that “Engagement & Endurance: Cork City Women in the 1920’s” will be aired on International Women’s Day this year.  I had the privilege, as Deputy Lord Mayor, of attending at its premiere as part of Cork Film Festival last November. It is a wonderful watch and gives a brief insight into the key role these women played in society and the tenacity and strength of women in that era.  The Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus are delighted to have this work included as part of the City’s events to mark International Women’s Day, particularly as the role women in Ireland played in the 1920’s has far too often been overlooked.  This commission of work by Cork City Council is a richly deserved recognition of these women which I believe will also serve to inspire women of today.”  

The research team on the project were Anne Twomey of Shandon History Group, Dr Helene O’Keeffe of UCC School of History, and Gerry White. The documentary director Ciara Buckley of Wombat Media said that, “as a proud Cork woman, I was so happy to collaborate with Cork City Council to produce and direct ‘Engagement and Endurance’, these incredible unsung heroines are so inspiring and it’s great to share their stories and help give them the recognition they truly deserve.”

Anne Twomey stated “Eilish MacCurtain, The Duggan Sisters, Geraldine Neeson and Dr. Mary Hearn represent women of the time who were among the forgotten and unsung heroines of Irish history and their stories that deserve to be told”.

The documentary will be available from 8th March on Cork City Council’s commemorations website here.

Finally, a mural project, entitled “Women, Past & Present” will be launched on 8th March, at Tory Top Library, Ballyphehane. The project, a partnership between Cork City Council and the Ballyphehane 1916-2016 Commemorative Committee, will involve a mural on the theme of the Decade of Centenaries and Cork City Council’s ground-breaking Women’s Caucus.

Speaking about the IWD 2022 programme and its links with the Decade of Centenaries commemorations, Lord Mayor Cllr. Colm Kelleher said, “the principles and values of Cork City Council’s Decade of Centenaries programme wish to reflect the pride in Cork and its people and the roles they played in the events of 100 years ago, pride in their heroic efforts, and their resilience in rebuilding their city. Honour the courage of the so-called ‘ordinary’ people who took part in the struggle, and their perseverance in the face of adversity.  It also seeks to honour the reasons why they took part in the struggle and continue to seek to bring about the type of Ireland the Volunteers envisaged – equality, fairness, women’s rights and access to jobs. It is important to reflect on the experiences of women during this period and their contribution to the events that occurred, including their changing role in society.”

Cllr. Mary Rose Desmond, Chairperson of Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus said, “on International Women’s Day last year, Cork City Council made history by launching its first cross-party women’s caucus. It was established to promote women in politics and enhance female participation in Local Government by exploring barriers and challenges to participation, in addition to appropriate interventions to form collective and targeted actions on issues, in areas of common interest.  Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus seeks to increase women’s engagement and representation in local politics.”

Arthur Walker, Chairperson of the Togher-Ballyphehane 1916-2016 Commemorative Committee said, “our committee is delighted to be part of this collaborative initiative to honour local women past and present. It is time we recognised their contribution. Nan and Mamie Hegarty from Pouladuff Road played significant roles as members of Cumann na mBan. They fought for an inclusive society based on equality.  The Women’s Caucus pursues that same equality agenda. To make participation in political life more accessible for women.  Women shaped history and our communities. Let them now be equals in shaping our future.”   

Source: Cork City Council

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