College has hosted a public discussion in celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage as part of International Women’s Week. The event was organised in partnership with the Institute of Irish Studies in Liverpool University.
An online exhibition has also been launched in the Trinity Library website chronicling Irish women’s fight for the right to vote.
The public discussion was entitled ‘Behind the Headlines: #MeToo – Then and Now’ and was held on Wednesday, March 7. The discussion addressed how women’s position in society has developed since women were granted the right to vote in Ireland in February 1918.
The speakers for this event included Professor Lauren Arrington, Senior Lecturer in the University of Liverpool, who discussed “Violence Against Women and Alternative Media in the Irish Revolution.” Professor Susan Cahill, Associate Professor in Concordia University Montreal, delivered a talk entitled “Trust Women, Listen to Women: Waking the Feminists, Repeal the Eighth, and the Politics of Storytelling.”
Professors from Trinity also delivered speeches at the event, with Professor Darryl Jones discussing “#MeToo in the University” and Professor Deirdre Ahern, who tackled “Equal in Name: The Limits of Law, Then and Now.”
A new Library exhibition called “Violence Ridicule and silence: Irishwomen’s road to the vote” has been launched online. The exhibition will showcase photographs from the roots of Irish women’s suffrage in the 18th century all the way through the 20th century, when the Government placed restrictions on women in 1916 proclamation
The exhibition features the first female students who graduated from Trinity. In 1906, students such as Ellen Frances McCutchan and sisters Madeline and Lily Stuart Baker became the first female graduates of the college two years after the death of former Provost George Salmon, who opposed the awarding of degrees to female students.
Curator of the exhibition Dr Maxwell noted that “the opponents of female suffrage were profoundly threatened by the possibility of its success. This is clear from the weapons with which they attacked it.”
“Apart from the prevarication and lies of the constitutional politicians, women were everywhere mocked and shouted down when they spoke out and when that failed they were physically assaulted. The recent interest in the history of female suffrage in Ireland is welcome, however delayed it has been,” Maxwell continued.