Dealing with the Past in Ireland: Where are the Women?

27 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2015

Date Written: November 17, 2015


Dealing with the Past: Where are the Women is the result of a three-year project focused on the conflict-related harms experienced by women in Northern Ireland. The report draws on the engagement of women with Relatives For Justice, a Northern Ireland-based victims organisation, through a range of participatory activities, including art therapy sessions, creative writing programmes, photography projects and specific residential workshops on UNSCR 1325. While the Irish National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 offers a genuine step forward in the recognition of these needs and the conflict-related experience of women on the Island, the British National Action Plan has yet to include mention of women affected by conflict. Similarly, while the Stormont House Agreement is currently blind to gender harms and fails to apply a gender lens, the Agreement provides a real opportunity to develop gender-appropriate frameworks within its mechanisms for dealing with the past. The report urges a proactive policy response to gender-specific conflict harms, concluding that, for the women participating in Relatives for Justice’s programming, the conflict is not yet over. Thus, any steps towards recovery must recognise the need for justice and truth, as well as the complexity of the lived experiences of the women within their family roles.

Keywords: Relatives for Justice, Dealing with the past, UNSCR 1325

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Andrée, Dealing with the Past in Ireland: Where are the Women? (November 17, 2015). Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper No. 15-11, Available at SSRN: or

Andrée Murphy (Contact Author)

Relatives for Justice ( email )

39 Glen Road
Belfast, BT11 8BB
Northern Ireland

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