Creating a Shared Society in Northern Ireland: Why We Need to Focus on Gender Equality

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International evidence has increasingly highlighted the necessity to understand the impact of conflict on the lives of girls and women and the importance of addressing gender equality as part of peace processes. This article argues that women, and especially young women, have been left out of much of the conflict discourse within Northern Ireland and there is little understanding of how the conflict has affected them. Analysis of in-depth interviews with young women reveals how their opportunities and choices in many areas of their life have been restricted by growing up in a divided society. There is a high level of disillusionment with politics and politicians with many identifying what they see as continuing sectarianism in Northern Ireland politics.Yet the “invisibility” of young women is unlikely to be addressed, or their confidence in politics strengthened, unless they are given the space, freedom, and encouragement to begin to articulate their thoughts and concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-487
JournalYouth and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Jun 2011


  • conflict
  • young women
  • Northern Ireland


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