Topics ranged from the civil rights movement of the 1960s, through the second wave of feminism, formation of the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement, campaigns for equal pay and sex discrimination legislation of the 1970s, the expansion of women’s organisations and centres in the 1980s, the increase of women’s participation in ‘mainstream’ politics with the formation of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition in the 1990s, and ongoing campaigns for equality and inclusivity, with the equal marriage and debate around abortion rights reform – all against the backdrop of the 'troubles’ and peacetime.
This resource reflects their interest in women collaborating and working together, supporting, and raising each other up, and finding commonality, especially during a divisive period; activism and instances of women affecting change and positively influencing their communities; and the experience of ‘ordinary’ women during the ‘extraordinary normality’ of the time.
The perceived predominance of male narratives of the recent past is balanced by female narratives and histories from 1965 to the present from women who generously and creatively shared their stories and experiences with the Linen Hall Library through extraORDINARYwomen, shaping this inspiring resource and its main themes of:
Education, Employment and Leadership
Family Life and Gender Roles
Femininity, Appearance and Stereotyping
Health and Resilience
Troubles and Peacetime