Trinity Women’s Week 2016


A few weeks ago, we celebrated International Women’s Week here at Trinity and I got the chance to photograph some of the events hosted on campus. And I gotta say, it felt so good to be in the feminist sphere again. I get some of it in my classes (we’re a pretty liberal and female-heavy course) and more generally being a young person in academia, but it’s different when feminism is really the focus of the discussion. After graduating from Bryn Mawr, I was afraid I wouldn’t encounter the same female solidarity I experienced there in the real world. But International Women’s Week made me feel all warm and fuzzy again and I learned a ton about the experience of women in Ireland, which has been really fraught over the last century. Here are a few photos from the events, if you’re interested…


The first event I attended was a panel discussion with Grainne Healy and Katherine Zappone, who discussed the success of the recent vote for marriage equality and the possibility of a future vote to repeal the 8th amendment, which criminalizes abortion in Ireland. The subject is still highly debated in media here and, from what Healy and Zappone explained, the success of an open vote for access to abortion doesn’t seem very certain right now. But with that said, the number of women in the Irish government is steadily increasing and with politicians like Zappone being direct and firm on the need for access to abortion, one has to hope its time will come.


Later that night I went to a panel discussion hosted by The Trinity Law Society that had an amazing variety of women on it and was really well moderated by Aine Lawlor. Panelists included journalist Una Mullally, professor/professional hottie Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, and author Louise O’Neill (whose work I’m looking at for my master’s dissertation). The whole discussion centered on the broader topic of women’s experiences in Ireland, but touched on media harassment, modern body image, and Irish politics regarding women’s rights. For example, I had no idea that the marriage bar, which prevented women from working after they were married, existed in Ireland until 1973! It’s learning facts like this that really put the fight for women’s rights into context for me.


The final event I photographed was a speaker named Leanna Byrne, a Trinity graduate and news reporter at the Sunday Business Post. After hearing from very established and generally older women all week, it was really refreshing to talk with someone only a few years into her career and hear how she got her foot in the door and what I should be thinking about in my first years in the workplace.


On Thursday night, I got to be a civilian and went to an arts night featuring Trinity’s all-female a cappella group and selections from The Vagina Monologues (which for the record I still know by heart). After the concert, there was a wine reception and photography exhibition/competition featuring tributes to inspiring women and representations of the female spirit. I’m super excited to say I won the general division with my photo of professor/actor/mustached croquet player extraordinaire, Catharine, shown above!

Special thanks to Aoife Crawford for putting together such a great week and letting me be a part so many cool events! Now if only every week could be women’s week…


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