The conference entitled "Women Shaping the Future Political, Economic and
Social Development on the Island of Ireland" was organised by the Northern Ireland Women's European Platform and the National Women's Council of Ireland.
Supported by the European Commission and the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, it attracted over 200 women, who came in equal numbers from North and South.
This work includes conferences and joint actions by the Northern Ireland
European Women's Platform and the National Women's Council of Ireland (formerly the Council for the Status of Women) over many years; a "Women's
Agenda for Peace" conference by Clar na mBan in 1994; a "Women, the
Framework Document and the Future" conference in 1995, organised by the Ulster People's College; a "Women, Politics and Ways Forward" conference in 1995, facilitated by the University of Ulster Centre for Research on Women; a conference arranged by the Women's Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade
Unions in 1995, "Women and Political Agenda for Change". Women's centres
have been active on initiatives such as the Downtown Women's Centre's projects
Women into Politics and Making Women Seen and Heard. Tripartite conferences
around the theme of women shaping the future have been held in Cork and Belfast, involving women from Britain as well as the North and South of Ireland.
Further afield, a group calling itself Common Ground and involving women from
the United States alongside women from the North and South have conferenced
in both the United States and Ireland about the situation in Ireland. Studies such
as Women, Community and Politics in Northern Ireland by
Woods ( 1995)
and Women and Citizenship -- Power, Participation and Choice by the
Resource and Development Agency ( 1995) have added to the debate along with From the Margins to the Mainstream -- Working Towards Equality, Development and
Whitaker ( 1997) and Power, Politics, Positionings --
Women in Northern Ireland by
Fearon ( 1996).
Asmal Kadar, "Message to the Conference", People's Participation in Politics,
Initiative '92, Belfast, 1994.
Clár na. mBan, Women's Agenda for Peace, Belfast: Clár na mBan, 1994.
Council for the Status of Women-Northern Ireland Women's European Platform
CSW-NIWEP), Staking a Claim on the Future -- Submission to the Forum for Peace
and Reconciliation Council for the Status of Women (now National Women's
Council of Ireland), Dublin: Northern Ireland Women's European Platform, 1995.
Elliott Sydney, "The NI Forum/Entry to Negotiations Election 1996", Irish Political
Studies, 12, 1997, pp. 111-122.
Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Presentations by Panel Drawn from Women's
Representative Organisations, Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Report of
Proceedings, Volume 4, Dublin, 20 January 1995.
Governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, A New
Framework for Agreement, Belfast: HMSO; Dublin: Stationery Office, February 1995.