At the Nexus of Participation and Protection: Risks and Barriers to Women’s Participation in Northern Ireland

Event Video 

On Tuesday, June 22nd, IPI together with Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA) cohosted a virtual policy forum entitled “At the Nexus of Participation and Protection: Risks and Barriers to Women’s Participation in Northern Ireland.”

This public discussion launched new research on women’s experiences of risks, harms, and barriers as a result of participation in public life. Focused on Northern Ireland, the research and public discussion highlight the security challenges and threats that women leaders in the community sector, justice and security sectors, and elected politics have encountered as a result of their participation in peacebuilding before, during, and after the Good Friday Agreement.

The ways that women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation is impacted by threats and violence directly and indirectly related to conflict have not yet been fully considered, yet they are a vital part of the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda. With an overarching goal of advancing gender equality in peace and security, the discussion will highlight the need for the WPS agenda to address “protection” in the context of women’s participation in conflict-affected contexts. Of its four pillars, participation and protection have arguably received the most attention, yet the need to address the inter-relationship between the two pillars remains a gap.

This brought together stakeholders from governments, representatives from Northern Ireland’s women’s sector, the UN, and civil society organizations.

Opening Remarks:
Dr. Phoebe Donnelly, IPI Research Fellow and Head of Women, Peace and Security Program
Ms. Rachel Powell, Women’s Sector Lobbyist, Women’s Resources and Development Agency

Dr. Catherine Turner, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Durham Global Security Institute, Durham University
Ms. Sarah Douglas, Deputy Chief of Peace and Security, UN Women
Dr. Aisling Swaine, Professor of Gender Studies, University College Dublin
Dr. Sarah Taylor, Policy Specialist, Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, UN Women
Ms. Elaine Crory, Good Relations Coordinator, Women’s Resource and Development Agency

Ms. Gretchen Baldwin, IPI Senior Policy Analyst