Monday 18 February 2019

Women in Politics and Public Life, from 1918 to 2018

'Women in Politics and Public Life, from 1918 to 2018' – a Pop-Up Museum, exploring 100 years of women's participation in politics and public life.

This exciting exhibition shines a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame. It is a feminization of the historical narrative containing unseen family photographs, films, interviews, objects, clothes and even music that evokes each era of women in public life - it features all the female TDs, Senators and MEPs. It is laid out in a chronology from 1920s to 2000s. Key elements include clothing of women in politics and public life, objects showing the working life of women from election literature, to items belonging to them, an early apple Mac to a briefcase as well as films and inter-actives including one where you can review the lives of the 19 women elected 1918-2018.

In opening the exhibition, Minister Madigan said: “One of the great legacies of the Decade of Centenaries is a greater understanding and appreciation for the important role of women in shaping Ireland's history. Throughout the Decade, the State has shone a light, often for the first time, on women's experiences and influence in the significant historical events that shaped our journey towards independence and self-determination. These remarkable and capable women were defiant, strong and united in their belief for a better Ireland that would accept male and female as equal. They continued the journey towards equality and empowerment, paving the way for all future generations of women to take on the world as equal partners.”

The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to encourage people of all ages to reflect upon the journey that this country has taken, particularly over the past 100 years. The exhibition, reflecting upon and celebrating all that has been achieved over the past 100 years but with an awareness of the considerable work remaining to be done, will encourage discussion, debate and analysis in ongoing exploration of our history. The exhibition is on display in Istabraq Hall, Merchant's Quay, Limerick from 18th February to 1st April 2019, Monday to Friday 10am-5pm.

Curated by the historian, Sinéad McCoole, and supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme.

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