Was it for this?

When Constance Markievicz made history as the first woman in the British Isles to be elected a Member of Parliament, it must have been an epic moment. 100 years ago next year, (some) women across the United Kingdom, then including Ireland, got the vote, and the first to be elected was an Anglo-Irish republican socialist from [...]

2018-12-01T09:52:42+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don't normally do this, but… 2015… what's the plan?

I don't normally do very personal blog posts here, but quite a bit of my op/ed stuff over the past year related to personal experiences, so I feel I should bring it all together a bit here.  It's late January, and I am only now getting into 'January mode', the mode of healthy eating and exercise, [...]

Mapping the gender gap

The World Gender Gap Report 2014 has been released today. Here's a very nifty map of the report showing where the biggest disparities exist and also mapping progress over time using the slider.  Rwanda (my area of interest in this regard) comes one step ahead of Ireland due to its enormous success in involving women in [...]

The Rwandan genocide

As the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide approaches, the country’s President Paul Kagame is on a tour of Europe commemorating what is known as Kwibuka 20.   Since 1994, Rwanda has been synonymous with genocide. In a planned action which began 20 years ago this month, approximately 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred [...]

Sticks and stones

“Sure you know what I mean…” The call to complicity is one we hear all the time. It’s the stock response from anyone called out on discrimination, and it’s all too easy to just nod along and mumble “yeah, I do”. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a [...]

Rwanda's women working together (or, everyone's got a Bono story)

Women's empowerment in Rwanda is crossing the boundaries of ethnicity, class, education, geography and even wellness. Yesterday, we met Yvonne Mutakwasuku, the mayor of a district called Muhanga just west of Kigali. A softly spoken Francophone, Yvonne has worked as a health and social worker with local authorities, NGOs and women's groups for her entire career, [...]

Getting to grips with Rwanda's complex gender quotas

Our Western images of Africa are of colourful women with babies on their backs, not business suit-clad women with laptops. They're of starving children, not well-fed men about town sipping lattes in indigenous coffee chains that bear striking resemblances to Costa or Starbucks, but with better food. This is Kigali. We're here to research the success [...]

Kigali – first impressions

Tree lined boulevards, undulating green hills dotted with red roofed buildings and the occasional steel and glass of modernity... Kigali is not what most of us would expect from an African capital. The main roads are in better shape than most of those in Ireland; there is very little litter; traffic is busy but not crazy; [...]

It could have been any of us

What has happened to Savita Halappanavar was barbaric, cruel, inhuman and wrong. We can't bring Savita back but we can make sure this never happens again. Any woman in Ireland could lose her life because of our politicians' cowardice. It could have been any of us. I've already written to my local TDs to ask for [...]

2012-11-14T13:21:53+00:00 November 14th, 2012|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , , , |

Election liveblog

I'm really looking forward to the election count tomorrow and Sunday. I've covered counts before, but as a purely print reporter. This will be the first one I am tweeting and live blogging and I'm looking forward to the utter confusion of it all! You can follow my tweets on @deshocks (I'll be mainly [...]