Women from Louth, Monaghan & Cavan Chapters share ideas & experiences
Following the Next Chapter project’s peace and reconciliation visit to Dáil Éireann in September, 30 local women from Cavan, Louth and Monaghan Chapters attended ‘Pathways to Peace’ in Glaslough Co Monaghan, an event aimed at facilitating continued contact between this new network of women sharing ideas and experiences.
The one-day event was divided into two parts with the morning session examining ways in which women can increase their contribution, becoming more confident and visible for a future of peace-building, and the afternoon session considering the benefits of being mindful of oneself and others.
“There is a growing recognition, through sustained advocacy, that women have unique skills to contribute towards non-violent conflict resolution including their capacity to negotiate for justice and peace, to confront issues collectively and to mobilise the community to challenge violent ways of managing conflict,” explained Regional Co-ordinator Claire Rushe, organiser of the event. “However, there is still a need for more communication linkages that can promote and facilitate women’s good practices. It is of utmost importance to strengthen local network and to create specific spaces for positive change.”
‘Pathways to Peace’ focussed on how to encourage women to become more confident and visible, explaining ways to overcome self-doubt, face fears and push through self-limiting beliefs, whilst understanding and recognising one’s role and potential within society. Building on the discussions from Module One training ‘Women Champions of Peacebuilding’, participants examined the idea of confidence, the ability to succeed in a post-conflict society and what happens when there is a lack of confidence.
Another main focus of the event was on mindfulness both within one's self and wider society.
Next Chapter participant Ping Cao from Louth Chapter provided this report from the event
“Thank you so much for organising the meaningful 'Pathways to Peace' event. It was great to meet up and work with the other Chapter group members together. Such kind of cross-chapter events as always provide opportunities for us to share information and good practice, which certainly strengthen the network among the Chapter groups. Even on the way back home, our group was still talking about the ideas and community projects we learned from the other groups.”
Photo: Next Chapter participants at Module Four Training 'Comunicating with Impact' - Ping Cao is back row, fourth from the left.
Next Chapter participants are encouraged to recognise that reconciliation is the long-term process by which the parties to a violent dispute build trust, learn to live cooperatively, and create a stable peace, and that this can happen at an individual level and community level, as well as at regional level.