The Inaugural Lecture of Professor Linda Connolly, Director of the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, will pose questions on the state’s treatment of women past and present; the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment; and the forthcoming referendum on women in the home – all set against this year’s centenary of the vote for women. This timely lecture explores critical questions about gender issues, equal citizenship and the kind of society Ireland is and has become in 2018.
The centenary of the vote for women in 2018 coincided with a referendum that has repealed the eighth amendment to the Irish Constitution; it also coincided with ongoing condemnation of the state’s treatment of and redress to women widely incarcerated in institutions (including the Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes).
The practice of ‘remembering’ the past through the lens of women’s lives has real political currency and human rights implications in contemporary Ireland beyond commemoration. The proposing of a second referendum to repeal or replace the constitutional clause on women in the home sharply represents the interplay of past and present, and the tension between tradition and modernity that infuses contemporary Ireland.
This lecture will explore how the commemoration of votes for women poses critical questions about gender issues, equal citizenship and the kind of society Ireland is and has become in 2018. The question of whether Ireland can be considered ‘a country for women!’ will be explored by Professor Connolly, drawing on her extensive research and work on the interconnection between feminism, Irish women’s rights and social change.
Reception to follow.
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