Northern Ireland

Monica McWilliams and Avila Kilmurray

in The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Conflict

Published in print February 2018 | ISBN: 9780199300983
Published online December 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190862251 | DOI:

Series: OHBK

Northern Ireland

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Women’s activism played an important role in conflict transformation in Northern Ireland, from the early civil rights activists to the development of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party. This chapter follows the history of activism in Northern Ireland, using the trajectory to illustrate how the exclusion of women from formal institutions resulted in a women’s movement that became an alternative means for creating change. It identifies important characteristics of women’s activism, including a willingness to build broad alliances in civil society and framing tactics that brought gender-specific interests to the peace process and the Good Friday peace agreement. As the chapter examines the successes and challenges of the post-conflict women’s movement in Northern Ireland, it reflects on the power of creativity and innovation in altering institutional dynamics during times of transition.

Keywords: Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition; women’s activism; post-conflict women’s movement; activism; gender; peace process

Article.  5021 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics ; UK Politics

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