USI organise first national conference on gender

Aimed at better equipping gender equality activists at third-level institutes across the country, Ireland’s first national gender conference took place in NUI Galway last weekend.

The two day ‘GenCon 2014’ was organised by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in partnership with the National Women’s Council ‘Y-Factor’ project.

USI Vice-President for Equality and Citizenship, Laura Harmon explained: “the main reason I wanted to organise this was because I felt that USI could do more to facilitate networking between gender equality and feminist societies by holding a national event.”

The weekend featured modules on topics including heteronormativity, transgender rights, pro-choice activism, reproductive rights and health. The free event was open to students from all colleges, regardless of gender.

Harmon said she hoped the conference would ensure feminist societies and gender equality activists were “better supported in their work on their campuses and nationally”.

When asked whether she feels this conference could become an annual event, she replied: “I hope so as I feel it is something that could grow and that we could build on it year on year. This is just the start.”

Suzanne Cooper

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