A new reconciliation group has been launched to give a voice to women who have been excluded or feel excluded from the peace process.
The Unheard Voices Project, a two year cross community programme, was launched at the Rath Mor Centre yesterday.
Creggan Enterprises (CE), the promoters of the Unheard Voices Project, said that many working-class women on both sides of the community divide are united in their frustration at the limited space for their views.
They believe the unheard voices of these women must be listened to and valued.
The project encourages underrepresented women from unionist and nationalist traditions to work together to share their experiences and opinions and resolve difficult issues linked to conflict and division.
Speaking at the launch event, ahead of International Women’s Day, Carol Cunningham, Unheard Voices Project Coordinator said:“Women have a crucial role to play in peace building, but their voices need to be heard by those in power in communities and those making decisions in government.”
She added: “Unheard Voices promotes inclusion, co-operation and a strong voice for women in the city, particularly in areas where there are urgent social challenges and where complex issues will take longer to resolve. If we are to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society, we simply cannot afford to lose women’s voices.”
The International Fund for Ireland awarded £130,799 to the Unheard Voices Project through the Peace Impact Programme, which focuses on addressing some of the most sensitive, complex and challenging issues within areas where there have been low levels of engagement in peace building.
International Fund for Ireland Board Member, Winston Patterson, said:“Within Derry/Londonderry many women’s groups and networks have been successfully delivering to their constituencies, but few seek to engage with the most marginalised women on a cross-community dynamic like this. The Unheard Voices Project will run to June 2015 and engage women and women’s groups that have not previously participated in peace building activities.
To find out more about Creggan Enterprises - Unheard Voices Project please contact Carol Cunningham on (028) 7137 3170.
You can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to the website at www.rathmor.com.