Towards an Inclusive, Critical Feminist Pedagogy
For as long as I have been involved in adult education, this has overlapped with a commitment to feminism; in fact, my first paid job in adult education (after ten years working as a nurse) was to set up a consciousness-raising women’s group in North Dublin in the 1990s. This was one of hundreds of women’s group that emerged across the Island of Ireland from the 1970s onwards. Bríd Connolly (2001, p, 1) described these as spaces for “women to see themselves as active participants in Irish society, women who might otherwise, through socialisation, perceive themselves as operating within the private sphere only”. Women’s participation in Irish society had been severely curtailed up to this time, in the main by a deeply sexist, church-state coalition that culturally and legally carved out a post-colonial ‘Irishness’ where the ideal for a woman was to be married, a homemaker and largely silent (Fitzsimons and Kennedy, 2021).
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