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Women’s Studies in action in Clondalkin

March 8th, 2012 · 3 Comments · Feminism

Happy International Women’s Day!

This morning I attended a celebration of women’s education in Clondalkin. The Clondalkin Women’s Community Education Forum has been working with UCD for the past 13 years to deliver programmes in Women’s studies and more recently a Diploma in Women’s Studies, Gender and Social Justice. 105 women have taken part in the programme receiving certificates and diplomas from UCD (through the women’s studies centre and the School of Social Justice) from programmes delivered locally including in a house in Ronanstown which is home to the Ronanstown Women’s Community Development Project.

Women are supported and mentored to participate in the courses and they can access childcare support. The project also runs other programmes and taster courses funded by the VEC and other bodies.

Funding for the UCD outreach Women’s Studies programme was never easy to maintain. However recently Intel have come forward to sponsor two modules of the diploma and there are currently 24 women studying for the qualification.

Intel are involved in several education initiatives in Ireland, many focussed on promoting science and maths education for young people. However they are also involved in a project called She Will which globally works to highlight and support educational and economic opportunities for women and girls.

The sponsorship and support for the women in Clondalkin seems a perfect fit. I had a chance to meet women who were taking up work, engaging in their communities, supporting participation in education of their families. All as a result of opportunities gained through their studies and involvement with community groups. Rarely do we hear about the work of groups in community development and the changes that they make to peoples lives.

Intel launched a video about the partnership today. It is a clear example of the importance of community education and support for women to empower themselves and each other. The women are talking about on day building a permanent education centre, library and childcare centre. I wouldn’t doubt them here given what they have achieved to date. It was really positive and inspiring to see Feminism in action and alive and well in south west Dublin.



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