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Image / Editorial

The National Women’s Council of Ireland Are Back Again With #FemFest

by Holly O'Neill
10th Nov 2016

The National Women’s Council of Ireland are back again with another incredible line-up for #FemFest, this Friday the 2nd of December.

This year at #FemFest they’ll will be discussing the importance of the women of 1916,?the barriers young women face today and planning for the future, sexual harrassment, consent, repealing the 8th amendment and ?young women in leadership.

Feminist icon Ailbhe Smyth and the brains behind Repeal Project Anna Cosgrave will chair the event. There’s a variety of amazing women speaking, including the incredible historian and Manel Watch activist Mary McAuliffe, Rosemary MacCabe and our very own former staffer, the brilliant Jeanne Sutton.

We asked?Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer with NWCI, why they set up?#FemFest. ?On the face of it, we see the Dail, the Seanad and so many decision making structures are overwhelmingly male. ?While the voices we hear on TV and radio are largely those of men, there are huge numbers of young women who are breathing energy and? life into feminism right across Ireland. We see this with passionate debates, among other issues, on consent, sexual harassment and repealing the 8th amendment. The level of interest in #FemFest and NWCI’s work with young women demonstrates that we are frustrated with the status quo, and are ready to bring about feminist change that benefits women of all backgrounds. We want to be at the forefront of making that change a reality.?

#FemFest is a major conference for young women aged 16-24 and will be a fun and engaging space, about young women and for young women.? It will combine passionate and dynamic speakers of all ages, with engagement from the audience.

The list of inspiring speakers includes:

  • Clara Rose Thornton – RT? Broadcaster, Culture Journalist, Spoken Word Artist,
  • Sarah Griffin – author, poet
  • Rosemary MacCabe – freelance journalist
  • Brid Smith, TD
  • Jeanne Sutton – Deputy Editor of Stellar and KISS Magazines
  • Mary McAuliffe – historian

#FemFest will:

  • Provide a fun and engaging space for young women aged 16-24 to engage with issues relating to body image and leadership, from a feminist perspective.
  • Explore and raise awareness of the issues affecting young women in Ireland today, particularly in relation to leadership and body image.
  • Empower young women to use their own voice and agency by asking them to set practical objectives on how to address these issues into the future.
  • Create an important opportunity for engagement with a diverse group of women from all over Ireland, and from varying socio economic backgrounds.
  • Provide a legacy for future action to progress the rights of young women in Ireland


Register for tickets for?#FemFest this December 2nd from tomorrow morning here. Did we mention it’s free?