RICCYS girls visit equality seminar

From left to right are Aoife O’Reilly, Nikita Martin, Amy McGough, Abbie Gannon, Sophie Gregg O’Neill who took part in a gender equality seminar for international women’s day organised by Concern Worldwide at the Carmelite Community Centre on Aungier Street.
Photo Courtesy of Niamh Smith.

A group of girls from Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre Youth Service (RICCYS) were out and about on International Women’s Day. They attended a gender equality seminar hosted by Concern Worldwide at the Carmelite Community Centre on Aungier Street on March 8th.

“Our school, Ringsend College, gave us permission to go because it was educational,” says Amy McGough. “There were five or six schools there – about 25 people. There were people from Marian College and that’s an all-boys school. They participated a good bit because they obviously felt passionate about it as well. We played word games and we were asked to write down what came to mind when we think of the word ‘girl’ and they could be negative and positive things.”

Nikita Martin adds: “We were shown a speech that Emma Watson made at the U.N. and talked about how differently women were treated than men in third world countries. Some women are still meant to stay home and cook and clean and the men are meant to go out and work and pay for the whole family. It wasn’t just about women’s rights, it got into gender equality.”

Later that day, the girls attended a Smashing Times Theatre production: The Woman Is Present, at Trinity College Dublin and directed by Mary Moynihan. The show, which highlighted women’s roles in the 1916 Easter Rising, was performed by Róisín McAtamney and featured Constance Markievicz speaking about her time in prison and other figures such as her sister Eva Gore-Booth.

“The women weren’t really talked about at all and then you realise that they actually did a load of stuff in it,” Abbie Gannon comments. The show was followed by a question and answer session in which the cast and members of the production interacted with the students.

The girls also worked on a women’s empowerment project with the help of youth worker, Niamh Smith. Nikita Martin explains: “Niamh said that Women’s International Day was coming up and asked if we wanted to do a project on it because we have strong views on things like racism and sexism. So we chose a girl or woman who inspired us and we did a project on them and did a Powerpoint and then we drew them on canvas.”

On the subsequent evening, RICCYS held an event showcasing the gallery of inspirational women with great success.

By Jessica Ellis