The NCCWN - Donegal Women’s Network held a seminar this week to raise thought-provoking issues on women’s equality.
The WEAR (Women’s Equality Awareness Raising) event on Thursday, September 28th at the RCC Letterkenny brought local women and TY students from across Donegal together to learn about and discuss inequalities at home and around the world.
The seminar mixed real-life stories of local women, guest speakers and activities to strengthen awareness of disparities and to explore what causes them.
Students from Loreto Letterkenny and Scoil Mhuire Buncrana used insight they gained from WEAR workshops to share how they felt about gender stereotypes, barriers and diversity.
Students from Moville Community College had also taken part in the WEAR project.
Participants from across Donegal took part in five weeks of WEAR workshops looking at poverty, health, education, gender-based violence and decision-making for women, through interactive activities and group discussions.
Network members followed the global development goal of working with young people in the hope of influencing change and embedding gender equality as a core value within our society.
At Thursday’s seminar, students and groups studied a hard-hitting demonstration of tshirts displaying facts and issues about women around the world. They were faced with topics like human-trafficking, stereotypes and education and examined how it made them feel.
Students looked at negative views of women, concluding that females and males should have equal rights, regardless of race or disability.
Programme facilitator Danielle Bonnar reinforced key messages from the WEAR workshops, citing international and local issues. Lack of female representation politically in Donegal was one such issue. Two female TDs have been elected to Dail Eireann since its establishment, and just three County Councillors are women.
Donegal woman Aine Friel shared her account of living with a disability in rural Ireland. The seminar also heard from Ala Oueslati, a gender equality advocate from the Women Deliver Programme.
Artwork created by students and workshop participants was displayed in the room, including a creative piece of collaborative art facilitated by Julie Griffiths. The structure ingrained what the women had learned over five areas of discussions though WEAR.
By putting women’s equality in centre stage in the Donegal community, the network and all participants generated inspiration and a hope for change in the future.
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