Women's Equality in Northern Ireland's Transition: Intersectionality in Theory and Place

Eilish Rooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Women are invisible in mainstream analyses of the Northern Irishconflict. The prodigious literature is uninformed by gender analysis. These absenceshave discursive and material implications for tackling women’s inequality in a societyin transition from armed conflict. Feminist intersectional theory counters andcomplicates essentialist constructions of identity. It aids understanding of theNorthern Irish context by bringing into view issues of gender, sect and class. Thetentative intersectional theoretical framework developed in this article is tested in anempirical study of women’s poverty. This supports the argument that intersectionalanalysis is required if the policy approach to women’s equality in Northern Ireland isto benefit the most marginalised women and thereby improve the prospects ofbuilding a more stable and peaceable society.
LanguageEnglish
Pages353-375
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Volume14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Fingerprint

intersectionality
equality
sect
policy approach
gender
poverty

Keywords

  • conflict
  • equality
  • feminism
  • intersectionality
  • Northern Ireland/
  • North of Ireland

Cite this

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title = "Women's Equality in Northern Ireland's Transition: Intersectionality in Theory and Place",
abstract = "Women are invisible in mainstream analyses of the Northern Irishconflict. The prodigious literature is uninformed by gender analysis. These absenceshave discursive and material implications for tackling women’s inequality in a societyin transition from armed conflict. Feminist intersectional theory counters andcomplicates essentialist constructions of identity. It aids understanding of theNorthern Irish context by bringing into view issues of gender, sect and class. Thetentative intersectional theoretical framework developed in this article is tested in anempirical study of women’s poverty. This supports the argument that intersectionalanalysis is required if the policy approach to women’s equality in Northern Ireland isto benefit the most marginalised women and thereby improve the prospects ofbuilding a more stable and peaceable society.",
keywords = "conflict, equality, feminism, intersectionality, Northern Ireland/, North of Ireland",
author = "Eilish Rooney",
note = "Reference text: Agreement, The Agreement reached in the multi-party negotiations (1998). Alison, M.H., ‘‘We are fighting for the women’s liberation also’’: A Comparative Study of Female Combatants in the Nationalist Conflicts in Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland (unpublished Doctoral Thesis, Queen’s University Belfast, 2003). Aretxaga, B., Shattering Silence: Women, Nationalism, and Political Subjectivity in Northern Ireland (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997). Butler, J., ‘‘Explanation and Exoneration, or What We Can Hear’’, Social Text 72 20/3 (2002), 177–88. Campbell, C., & Connolly, I., ‘‘A Model for the ‘War on Terrorism?’ Military Intervention in Northern Ireland and the Falls Curfew’’, Journal of Law and Society 30/3 (2003), 341–75. Campbell, C., et al., ‘‘The Frontiers of Legal Analysis: Reframing the Transition in Northern Ireland’’, Modern Law Review 66/3 (2003), 317–345. Cockburn, C., The Space Between Us: Negotiating Gender and National Identities in Conflict (London and New York: Zed Books, 1998). Committee for the Administration of Justice, Briefing on Religious/Political Differentials (March, 2006): http://www.caj.org.uk/. Conaghan, J., ‘‘Reassessing the Feminist Theoretical Project in Law’’, Journal of Law and Society 27/3 (2000), 351–385. Connell, R.W., Masculinities (Cambridge: Polity, 1995). Crenshaw, K., ‘‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color’’, in Feminist Frontiers, eds. L. Richardson, V. Taylor & N. Whittier 6th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004), 405–412. Crilly, A., et al., ‘‘Women in the North of Ireland: 1969–2000’’, in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Volume V: Irish Women’s Writing and Traditions, eds. A. Bourke, et al. (Cork: Cork University Press in association with Field Day, 2002), 1476–1545. Cross, J., Submission by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (Belfast: Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2003). Daly, M., Women and Poverty (Dublin: Attic Press, 1989). Davies, C., et al., A Matter of Small Importance? Catholic and Protestant Women in the Northern Ireland Labour Market (Belfast: Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland, 1995). FitzGerald, G., ‘‘Foreword’’, in Fair Employment in Northern Ireland: A Generation On, eds. B. Osborne & I. Shuttleworth (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2004), vii–xi. Hamilton, D. & Fisher, C., (eds.) Mapping West Belfast: A Statistical Overview of Socio-economic Disadvantage (Belfast: West Belfast Economic Forum, 2002). Hamilton, D., ‘‘The Noble Measures of Deprivation in West Belfast’’, in Mapping West Belfast, eds. D. Hamilton & C. Fisher (Belfast: West Belfast Economic Forum, 2002), 80–88. Hill, M., Women in Ireland: A Century of Change (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 2003). Hill-Collins, P., ‘‘Some Group Matters: Intersectionality, Situated Standpoints, and Black Feminist Thought’’, in Feminist Frontiers, 6th ed. eds. L. Richardson, V. Taylor & N. Whittier (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004), 66–84. Hillyard, P., et al., Poverty and Conflict in Ireland: An International Perspective (Dublin: Combat Poverty Agency, 2005). Honig, B., ‘‘Towards an Agonistic Feminism: Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Identity’’, in Feminists Theorize the Political, eds. J. Butler & J. Scott (New York and London: Routledge, 1992), 215–235. Knapp, A., Race, Class, Gender: Reclaiming Baggage in Fast Traveling Theories... Key-note Presentation: European Intertexts Conference ‘‘She’s Leaving Home’’ (Hungary, 2003). Lauret, M., ‘‘‘Race’ and the Difference it Makes’’, Women: A Cultural Review 11/1–2 (2000), 156–160. McCormack, I. & McCormack, V., ‘‘More Bangs For Your Buck: Once For Jobs and Once For Justice’’, Irish Reporter, 43 (1995). McCrudden, C., ‘‘Taking the Equality Agenda Forward’’, Economic Bulletin 10/2 (2003), 5–11. McGarry, J. & O’Leary, B., Explaining Northern Ireland (Oxford and Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell, 1995). McKitterick, D., et al., Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1999). McMinn, J., ‘‘The Changers and The Changed: An Analysis of Women’s Community Education Groups in the North and South of Ireland’’, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Equality Studies Centre, UCD, 2000. Mac Suibhne, B. & Martin, A., ‘Fenians in the Frame: Photographing Irish Political Prisoners, 1865–1868’, Field Day Review, 1 (Dublin: Field Day Publications, 2005), 101–119. Miller, R., ‘‘Social Mobility in Northern Ireland’’, in Fair Employment in Northern Ireland: A Generation On, eds. B. Osborne & I. Shuttleworth (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2004), 49–64. Moore, R., Proper Wives, Orange Maidens or Disloyal Subjects: Situating the Equality Concerns of Protestant Women in Northern Ireland (unpublished Masters Thesis, University College Dublin, 1993). Newman, L.M., White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Nı´ Aola´ in, F., The Politics of Force: Conflict Management and State Violence in Northern Ireland (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 2000). Noble, M., et al., Measures of Deprivation in Northern Ireland (Belfast: Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency, 2005). O’Brien, M., Progress and Setbacks in Civil Liberties – How Far have We Come since the Signing of the Agreement?, P.J. McGrory Lecture, Fe´ ile an Phobail, West Belfast, edited version Just News (Belfast, October, 2005), 4–5. O’Reilly, E., ‘‘Supergrass Campaigners: A Common Bond?’’, Women’s News, vol. 15, March/April, 1986, reproduced in Crilly, 2002, et al: 1498–1499. Osborne, B., & Shuttleworth, I., (eds.), Fair Employment in Northern Ireland: A Generation On (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2004). Parpart, J.L., ‘‘A Post-Modern Feminist Critique of Women and Development Theory’’, Development and Change 24/3 (1993), 439–464. Rawi, M., ‘‘Rule of the rapists’’, The Guardian (12 February 2004). Rooney, E. & Woods, M., Women, Community and Politics in Northern Ireland (Jordanstown: University of Ulster, 1995). Rooney, E., ‘‘Women in Political Conflict’’, Race & Class 37/1 (1995), 51–57. Rooney, E., ‘‘Women in Northern Irish Politics: Difference Matters’’, in Gender, Democracy and Inclusion in Northern Ireland, eds. C. Roulston & C. Davies (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000), 164–186. Rooney, E., ‘‘Community Development in Times of Trouble: Reflections on the ‘Community Women’s Sector’ in the North of Ireland’’, Community Development Journal: An International Forum: Ireland, Corporatism & Community Development: Special Issue 37/1 (2002), 33–46. Rooney, E., ‘‘Beyond Sex & Gender? A Belfast Response to Wendy Brown’’, Feminist Theory 4/3 (2003), 371–375. Rooney, E., ‘‘Counting Women’s Equality in West Belfast and Finding Failings in the Northern Ireland Equality Commission’’, Women’s Studies Review 9 (2004), 151–159. Scott, J.W., ‘‘Experience’’, in Feminists Theorize the Political, eds. J. Butler & J.W. Scott (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), 22–40. Taylor, R, ‘‘Social Scientific Research on the Troubles in Northern Ireland: The Problem of Objectivity’’, Economic and Social Review 19 (1988), 123–145. Thomson, M., ‘‘Masculinity, Reproductivity and Law’’ (2005): www.ccels.cf.ac.uk/ literature/publications/2005/thomsonpaper.pdf. UK 5th Periodic Report (1999) to UNCEDAW. Ware, V., ‘‘References’’, Feminist Review 66 (2000), 157–160. Zalman, A., ‘‘Out of the Rubble: Competing Perspectives on the Lives of Afghan Women’’, The Women’s Review of Books: A Feminist Guide to Good Reading (April 2003).",
year = "2006",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "353--375",
journal = "Feminist Legal Studies",
issn = "0966-3622",
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}

Women's Equality in Northern Ireland's Transition: Intersectionality in Theory and Place. / Rooney, Eilish.

In: Feminist Legal Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2006, p. 353-375.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Women's Equality in Northern Ireland's Transition: Intersectionality in Theory and Place

AU - Rooney, Eilish

N1 - Reference text: Agreement, The Agreement reached in the multi-party negotiations (1998). Alison, M.H., ‘‘We are fighting for the women’s liberation also’’: A Comparative Study of Female Combatants in the Nationalist Conflicts in Sri Lanka and Northern Ireland (unpublished Doctoral Thesis, Queen’s University Belfast, 2003). Aretxaga, B., Shattering Silence: Women, Nationalism, and Political Subjectivity in Northern Ireland (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997). Butler, J., ‘‘Explanation and Exoneration, or What We Can Hear’’, Social Text 72 20/3 (2002), 177–88. Campbell, C., & Connolly, I., ‘‘A Model for the ‘War on Terrorism?’ Military Intervention in Northern Ireland and the Falls Curfew’’, Journal of Law and Society 30/3 (2003), 341–75. Campbell, C., et al., ‘‘The Frontiers of Legal Analysis: Reframing the Transition in Northern Ireland’’, Modern Law Review 66/3 (2003), 317–345. Cockburn, C., The Space Between Us: Negotiating Gender and National Identities in Conflict (London and New York: Zed Books, 1998). Committee for the Administration of Justice, Briefing on Religious/Political Differentials (March, 2006): http://www.caj.org.uk/. Conaghan, J., ‘‘Reassessing the Feminist Theoretical Project in Law’’, Journal of Law and Society 27/3 (2000), 351–385. Connell, R.W., Masculinities (Cambridge: Polity, 1995). Crenshaw, K., ‘‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color’’, in Feminist Frontiers, eds. L. Richardson, V. Taylor & N. Whittier 6th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004), 405–412. Crilly, A., et al., ‘‘Women in the North of Ireland: 1969–2000’’, in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Volume V: Irish Women’s Writing and Traditions, eds. A. Bourke, et al. (Cork: Cork University Press in association with Field Day, 2002), 1476–1545. Cross, J., Submission by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (Belfast: Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2003). Daly, M., Women and Poverty (Dublin: Attic Press, 1989). Davies, C., et al., A Matter of Small Importance? Catholic and Protestant Women in the Northern Ireland Labour Market (Belfast: Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland, 1995). FitzGerald, G., ‘‘Foreword’’, in Fair Employment in Northern Ireland: A Generation On, eds. B. Osborne & I. Shuttleworth (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2004), vii–xi. Hamilton, D. & Fisher, C., (eds.) Mapping West Belfast: A Statistical Overview of Socio-economic Disadvantage (Belfast: West Belfast Economic Forum, 2002). Hamilton, D., ‘‘The Noble Measures of Deprivation in West Belfast’’, in Mapping West Belfast, eds. D. Hamilton & C. Fisher (Belfast: West Belfast Economic Forum, 2002), 80–88. Hill, M., Women in Ireland: A Century of Change (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 2003). Hill-Collins, P., ‘‘Some Group Matters: Intersectionality, Situated Standpoints, and Black Feminist Thought’’, in Feminist Frontiers, 6th ed. eds. L. Richardson, V. Taylor & N. Whittier (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004), 66–84. Hillyard, P., et al., Poverty and Conflict in Ireland: An International Perspective (Dublin: Combat Poverty Agency, 2005). Honig, B., ‘‘Towards an Agonistic Feminism: Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Identity’’, in Feminists Theorize the Political, eds. J. Butler & J. Scott (New York and London: Routledge, 1992), 215–235. Knapp, A., Race, Class, Gender: Reclaiming Baggage in Fast Traveling Theories... Key-note Presentation: European Intertexts Conference ‘‘She’s Leaving Home’’ (Hungary, 2003). Lauret, M., ‘‘‘Race’ and the Difference it Makes’’, Women: A Cultural Review 11/1–2 (2000), 156–160. McCormack, I. & McCormack, V., ‘‘More Bangs For Your Buck: Once For Jobs and Once For Justice’’, Irish Reporter, 43 (1995). McCrudden, C., ‘‘Taking the Equality Agenda Forward’’, Economic Bulletin 10/2 (2003), 5–11. McGarry, J. & O’Leary, B., Explaining Northern Ireland (Oxford and Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell, 1995). McKitterick, D., et al., Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1999). McMinn, J., ‘‘The Changers and The Changed: An Analysis of Women’s Community Education Groups in the North and South of Ireland’’, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Equality Studies Centre, UCD, 2000. Mac Suibhne, B. & Martin, A., ‘Fenians in the Frame: Photographing Irish Political Prisoners, 1865–1868’, Field Day Review, 1 (Dublin: Field Day Publications, 2005), 101–119. Miller, R., ‘‘Social Mobility in Northern Ireland’’, in Fair Employment in Northern Ireland: A Generation On, eds. B. Osborne & I. Shuttleworth (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2004), 49–64. Moore, R., Proper Wives, Orange Maidens or Disloyal Subjects: Situating the Equality Concerns of Protestant Women in Northern Ireland (unpublished Masters Thesis, University College Dublin, 1993). Newman, L.M., White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Nı´ Aola´ in, F., The Politics of Force: Conflict Management and State Violence in Northern Ireland (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 2000). Noble, M., et al., Measures of Deprivation in Northern Ireland (Belfast: Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency, 2005). O’Brien, M., Progress and Setbacks in Civil Liberties – How Far have We Come since the Signing of the Agreement?, P.J. McGrory Lecture, Fe´ ile an Phobail, West Belfast, edited version Just News (Belfast, October, 2005), 4–5. O’Reilly, E., ‘‘Supergrass Campaigners: A Common Bond?’’, Women’s News, vol. 15, March/April, 1986, reproduced in Crilly, 2002, et al: 1498–1499. Osborne, B., & Shuttleworth, I., (eds.), Fair Employment in Northern Ireland: A Generation On (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2004). Parpart, J.L., ‘‘A Post-Modern Feminist Critique of Women and Development Theory’’, Development and Change 24/3 (1993), 439–464. Rawi, M., ‘‘Rule of the rapists’’, The Guardian (12 February 2004). Rooney, E. & Woods, M., Women, Community and Politics in Northern Ireland (Jordanstown: University of Ulster, 1995). Rooney, E., ‘‘Women in Political Conflict’’, Race & Class 37/1 (1995), 51–57. Rooney, E., ‘‘Women in Northern Irish Politics: Difference Matters’’, in Gender, Democracy and Inclusion in Northern Ireland, eds. C. Roulston & C. Davies (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000), 164–186. Rooney, E., ‘‘Community Development in Times of Trouble: Reflections on the ‘Community Women’s Sector’ in the North of Ireland’’, Community Development Journal: An International Forum: Ireland, Corporatism & Community Development: Special Issue 37/1 (2002), 33–46. Rooney, E., ‘‘Beyond Sex & Gender? A Belfast Response to Wendy Brown’’, Feminist Theory 4/3 (2003), 371–375. Rooney, E., ‘‘Counting Women’s Equality in West Belfast and Finding Failings in the Northern Ireland Equality Commission’’, Women’s Studies Review 9 (2004), 151–159. Scott, J.W., ‘‘Experience’’, in Feminists Theorize the Political, eds. J. Butler & J.W. Scott (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), 22–40. Taylor, R, ‘‘Social Scientific Research on the Troubles in Northern Ireland: The Problem of Objectivity’’, Economic and Social Review 19 (1988), 123–145. Thomson, M., ‘‘Masculinity, Reproductivity and Law’’ (2005): www.ccels.cf.ac.uk/ literature/publications/2005/thomsonpaper.pdf. UK 5th Periodic Report (1999) to UNCEDAW. Ware, V., ‘‘References’’, Feminist Review 66 (2000), 157–160. Zalman, A., ‘‘Out of the Rubble: Competing Perspectives on the Lives of Afghan Women’’, The Women’s Review of Books: A Feminist Guide to Good Reading (April 2003).

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Women are invisible in mainstream analyses of the Northern Irishconflict. The prodigious literature is uninformed by gender analysis. These absenceshave discursive and material implications for tackling women’s inequality in a societyin transition from armed conflict. Feminist intersectional theory counters andcomplicates essentialist constructions of identity. It aids understanding of theNorthern Irish context by bringing into view issues of gender, sect and class. Thetentative intersectional theoretical framework developed in this article is tested in anempirical study of women’s poverty. This supports the argument that intersectionalanalysis is required if the policy approach to women’s equality in Northern Ireland isto benefit the most marginalised women and thereby improve the prospects ofbuilding a more stable and peaceable society.

AB - Women are invisible in mainstream analyses of the Northern Irishconflict. The prodigious literature is uninformed by gender analysis. These absenceshave discursive and material implications for tackling women’s inequality in a societyin transition from armed conflict. Feminist intersectional theory counters andcomplicates essentialist constructions of identity. It aids understanding of theNorthern Irish context by bringing into view issues of gender, sect and class. Thetentative intersectional theoretical framework developed in this article is tested in anempirical study of women’s poverty. This supports the argument that intersectionalanalysis is required if the policy approach to women’s equality in Northern Ireland isto benefit the most marginalised women and thereby improve the prospects ofbuilding a more stable and peaceable society.

KW - conflict

KW - equality

KW - feminism

KW - intersectionality

KW - Northern Ireland/

KW - North of Ireland

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 353

EP - 375

JO - Feminist Legal Studies

T2 - Feminist Legal Studies

JF - Feminist Legal Studies

SN - 0966-3622

IS - 3

ER -