Over the past 17 years, since IRD Duhallow established the Women and Childcare Working Group, it has supported the IRD Duhallow’s women’s forum.
The IRD Duhallow Women’s Forum plays an important role in improving women’s access to education, training and personal development in preparation for employment, in supporting women who are undertaking entrepreneurial activity and supporting women’s advancement in their employment, including into decision making roles. The Women’s Forum has provided women with an opportunity to share information and ideas as a collective, this collaboration and networking has successfully built confidence and empowered the participants to engage as active and equal citizens.
The Duhallow Women’s Forum was established in 1997. It is affiliated to the National Women’s Council. This Forum is a network of 17 women’s groups in the Duhallow Region who have come together “to share information, exchange ideas and undertake joint projects”. The forum is committed to enhancing honest non tokenistic representation of women in Duhallow. The Duhallow Women’s Forum brings together existing organisations such as the ICA with groups like Parent and Toddler Groups, Childcare Groups, Duhallow Carers and Focal Farmers Representatives.
The Forum is open to all interest groups to participate and as a representative the role is to channel information from their group and community to the forum and back. It is very much a two way process. The forum focuses on combating disadvantage and social inclusion. It is funded through the LCDP Programme and acts as an advocate for women of all ages and backgrounds in Duhallow.
The Forum over the years has held numerous conferences, seminars, workshops and courses that addressed the needs and issues affecting women in Duhallow annually. The Forum helps to ensure that women in rural areas have access to these events and are not disadvantaged due to their geographic location or education. Topics that the forum has covered in conferences and courses have always come from the member groups with the forum promoting the bottom up approach to community development. These topics have ranged from personal development and computer courses to women’s health, pensions and entitlements, to flower arranging and courses preparing women to return to employment.
Since its establishment the Duhallow Women’s Forum has made a significant contribution to the region including numerous seminars and conferences and in particular the production of a calendar in 2004 in honour of 12 notable and distinguished women from the Duhallow region. The impact of this Calendar has resulted in 4 monuments being erected in honour of these women in the region and more planned for the future. An information booklet was also produced detailing information of the lives of each of these notable and distinguished women. Click here to view this publication. (This booklet is in the publications section)
For more information on the Duhallow Women’s Forum and details of upcoming meetings please keep an eye on our monthly newsletter or contact 029-60633.