Liberation from Patriarchy for Gender Justice

The PEACE IV Programme is a unique cross-border initiative of the European Union which has been designed to support peace and reconciliation in the border Region of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Peace IV Programme will build upon the experience of previous programmes by tackling the remaining challenges that exist in building positive relationships and developing shared spaces.  The programme places a strong emphasis on promoting cross-community relations and understanding to create a more cohesive society.

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A project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

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What is the Programme about?

• Patriarchy is a violent social and political system of male domination, which holds that there are only two genders, that men are superior to women, that heterosexuality is the ‘normal’ sexual identity, and that a male God sanctifies this world order.
• This training programme on Liberation from Patriarchy for Gender Justice will critique patriarchy, explore its violent consequences and practices, and suggest a more liberating alternative for all humans beyond patriarchy.
• The intention is to expose the exclusive thinking and actions, systems and structures, that patriarchy pervades in Northern Ireland and that prevent the celebration and flourishing of real diversity, and the healing of divisive attitudes and practices, which reinforce prejudice, hate and intolerance.

What will the Training Programme cover?

The following themes will be explored over ten sessions:
1. The Nature and Historical Development of Patriarchy – What is patriarchy and where did it come from?
2. The History of Women’s Struggle for Equality in Ireland – What progress have women made in gender equality in Ireland in the last hundred years?
3. Patriarchy, Sectarianism and Racism: ‘The Unholy Trinity’- What do these three forms of domination have in common and what of those women who suffer triple oppression? 
4. The Sex / Gender Myth: Reclaiming the Human- An exploration of multiple sex and gender identities that redefine what it is to be human.
5. Religion, Patriarchy and Violence – Is Christianity redemptive for women and can the churches be liberated from patriarchy?
6. Policing Women’s Sexuality for the sake of Patriarchy’s Future - How and why has women’s sexuality been controlled in Ireland over the last hundred years. Is our legislation patriarchal?
7. Patriarchy, Militarism and Para-militarism: The Irish Context – What is the connection between state or paramilitary violence and violence toward women? Can lessons be learnt from our own violent context?
8. The Economics of Patriarchy: Capitalism and the Commodification of Women – Exploring how, within a capitalist economic system, women are objectified as commodities. It will ask the question what would a just economic system look like; and what impact would that system have on the lives and dignity of women?
9. Women’s Rights are Human Rights – What are women’s human rights and how are they protected in international law? What progress has been made in eliminating discrimination against women?
10. Gender based Justice: Strategizing for Peace – Women in Europe have been strategising for peace on the world stage since 1915. What process have women used to influence peace negotiations and move society toward gender justice?

Who will deliver the Training Programme?

The programme will be designed and delivered by Cathy Higgins on behalf of The Junction, Derry Londonderry and Foyle Women’s Information Network (FWIN). Dr Higgins taught courses on patriarchy as part of The Ethical and Shared Remembering Programme 1912-1922 and in two follow up programmes piloted through The Junction that looked in more depth at the systemic nature of patriarchy and its impact on women. Dr. Higgins is the author of Profiling Irish Women: Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries and has chapters in two co-authored books on patriarchy, Ethics and the Easter Rising and War and Memory.   

Who is the Programme for?

It is open to women from across the community in the Derry and Strabane District Council area, women from Donegal. We would also encourage men to take part. As numbers on the Training the Trainers programme are limited preference will be given to those with a direct remit for women’s issues and those working at the grass roots.

Rolling out the Training Programme:

Funding (facilitation fee, venue and hospitality) will be made available for six community education programmes for those trained through the programme who wish to roll out the programme in their areas or with groups, with support from the project.

Who to contact for further information:

If interested in this programme please contact Maureen Hetherington at the Junction Derry-
Londonderry
Tel: 028 71 361942
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)