ActionAid celebrates role of women in development to mark 30 years in Ireland

  • Date: 18/10/2013
  • Author: Jo-Ann Ward
Rodney Rice, former RTÉ Presenter and ActionAid Ireland Board Member did a marvellous job as MC for the evening with well researched questions that provoked powerful and moving answers from our panel: Former President Mary Robinson; Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh; Alison Milton, Civil Society Section of Irish Aid; and Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland. Some of the observations from our panel included: Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh: “Women do recognise {the problems facing them}, believe me they know what the problems are, the issue is how to mobilise.” Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland said that the lack of women in power was the greatest challenge to development: “There is an absence of leaders at the local, national and international level.” Alison Milton, Civil Society Section of Irish Aid noted the importance of women’s rights within development: “Gender Equality is now at the centre and a prerequisite for any development to happen.” We were delighted to meet many of our supporters and donors, some who have been supporting ActionAid for over 20 years. One supporter travelled all the way from Ennis to be there on the evening! We’d like to again thank everyone that attended for making the evening such a resounding success. We look forward to another 30 years making a difference and working with strong and resilient women in the developing world.

ActionAid Ireland celebrates 30th anniversary

Thursday, 10th October, 2013 with an event on The Positive Power of Women in Development: Strength and Resilience in the Face of Adversity.


The event took place in the Hugh Lane Gallery and we had a huge response with attendance from our supporters, donors, staff, volunteers, and members of other development agencies and Irish charities.

Olga McDonogh, CEO of ActionAid Ireland discussed our 30 year history and some of the inspiring women that she has worked with. She also introduced our key note speaker Mary Robinson, President Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, who we were honoured to host on the evening.

Mary Robinson talked about the strong and resilient women she had met over the course of her career. She also identified four main issues facing women across the world: the treatment of the girl child; the prevalence of child marriage; underrepresentation at the development table and within powerful positions; and the effect of climate change on women. She said:

“The empowerment of women is central to tackling the key challenges faced by the developing world, from poverty reduction to political oppression, to climate change. When we liberate the potential of women in their homes, communities and at national level, we can transform societies bringing improvements in the social, environmental, economic and political lives of all.”

Rodney Rice, former RTÉ Presenter and ActionAid Ireland Board Member did a marvelous job as MC for the evening with well researched questions that provoked powerful and moving answers from our panel: Former President Mary Robinson; Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh; Alison Milton, Civil Society Section of Irish Aid; and Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Observations over the evening

Some of the observations from our panel included: Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh:

“Women do recognise {the problems facing them}, believe me they know what the problems are, the issue is how to mobilise.”

Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland said that the lack of women in power was the greatest challenge to development:

“There is an absence of leaders at the local, national and international level.”

Alison Milton, Civil Society Section of Irish Aid noted the importance of women’s rights within development:

“Gender Equality is now at the centre and a prerequisite for any development to happen.”

Thank you!

We were delighted to meet many of our supporters and donors, some who have been supporting ActionAid for over 20 years. One supporter traveled all the way from Ennis to be there on the evening! We’d like to again thank everyone that attended for making the evening such a resounding success. We look forward to another 30 years making a difference and working with strong and resilient women in the developing world.

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