Book - Where are We Now? New Feminist Perspectives on women in contemporary Ireland

27 March 2008

Barry - Where are we Now

TASC's latest book, 'Where are we now? New Feminist Perspectives on women in contemporary Ireland', brings key figures from the Irish feminist movement together to ask where feminist principles stand in Ireland today. Edited by Ursula Barry, the book examines progress and regress across a range of areas including: the gender pay-gap, inequalities in health and welfare, violence against women and reproductive choice, parenthood among lesbian mothers.

A number of critical new issues are also examined in detail, including:
That Irish women are now having dual responsibilities as earners and primary carers;
the lack of a national framework for the legal protection of migrant women;
the extreme discrimination experienced by lesbians for not being allowed to form families;
and a climate of backlash against human rights conventions and global campaigns to prevent violence against women, amongst other issues.

Questions are asked of the policy and decision-making systems, how women are systematically under-represented, and the consequences of this for how priorities are determined and resources are allocated.

Explaining why they commissioned the book, Paula Clancy, director of TASC, and Joanna McMinn, director of the NWCI, said that in Ireland, 'substantive inequalities persist and yet it is a common perception that women have never had it so good. As this book documents, many of the issues which feminists have been discussing for the last fifty years, inequalities in the political structures, in work and in access to services and income, are still depressingly evident.'

Describing the background to the book, Editor Ursula Barry stated: 'The intention behind this book is to address a gap in the social analysis of contemporary Ireland by focussing on the situation of women. Its main aim is to bring together a range of feminist writers and activists to reflect on gender inequality.

Where are we Now? is priced at €19.95 and is available from all good bookshops nationwide, or contact New Island at (01) 298 6967 /

Download book's table of contents

Book Launch
In celebration of International Women's Day 2008 - its 100-year anniversary - the NWCI and TASC hosted an afternoon seminar and evening reception on March 5th to explore the impact of feminism in contemporary Ireland and to launch the book. The book's editor, Ursula Barry, guest speakers, writer Medb Ruane, and journalist Susan McKay, and a number of the book's authors made valuable contributions to the day.

International Women's Day (8th March) originated from the trade union movement in America in the early 20th century, particularly in the activism of the women who worked in the clothing industry "sweatshops" of the time.

In 1907 the women held a "Hunger March" in New York in protest at the dangerous working conditions and very long working periods, and calling for a ten-hour working day and improved wages. The police attacked the march, and the following year on March 8th 1908 a commemorative march was held, which became a milestone in women's history. This date is what we now celebrate as International Women's day, and by 1911 it had become international.

To find out more about the origins of International Women's Day and what is happening around the world to celebrate log onto:

NWCI is a non-governmental organisation which addresses the many complex, and often controversial, issues affecting women. The NWCI and its Affiliates work to introduce progressive social policies that achieve emancipatory social change for women.

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