Conference to chart ‘20 years of progress’ for women

A major conference this week will assess 20 years of progress towards equality for women in Ireland and investigate how much more needs to be done.

Conference to chart ‘20 years of progress’ for women

The international line-up of speakers is dominated by female heads of state, and academic, campaign, and charitable bodies, as well as President Michael D Higgins and Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Friday’s conference, hosted by the Irish Human Rights Commission and the National Women’s Council of Ireland, takes place on the 20th anniversary of the UN’s landmark World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. That led to the Beijing Declaration with participating governments signing up to the goal of “equality, development, and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity”.

It sought commitments to improve the position of women and girls in relation to poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, leadership roles, and institutional bias.

Those issues will be examined in an Irish context through contributions from almost 50 influential women including former president Mary Robinson, Garda commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan, and master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony.

Fidelma Joyce of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission said it was important to do a project check on the aims of Beijing. “Women have achieved equality in many ways but there is still a lot to be done. We’re a long way down the road but not there yet and that’s what we need to explore, she said”

The conference takes place in Dublin Castle and will be streamed live online via the organisers’ websites, www.ihrec.ie and on www.nwci.ie.

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