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(13-09-2017) Women and the media: feminist concerns

Saturday 13th September, 10.00am to 1.00 pm

Room G02 in the Western Gateway Building

All welcome

Chair: Deirdre O'Shaughnessy:

Deirdre O'Shaughnessy is a journalist and broadcaster. As well as editing Cork's biggest talk show on 96fm, she writes features and op-ed for The Herald, The Sunday Business Post and Women Mean Business magazine.

She's a member of Women on Air and The 5050 Group and is currently researching the impact of political gender quotas in Rwanda at UCC.



Una Mullally (journalist and broadcaster)


Una Mullally is a journalist and broadcaster from Dublin. She writes a weekly opinion column for the Irish Times as well as features and interviews, and runs the pop culture blog PopLife. She has a particular interest in feminism, LGBT issues, music, contemporary theatre, pop culture, tech, and the impact of the internet on identity and behaviour. She co-founded the queer spoken word event Come Rhyme With Me, which acts as a funding mechanism for LGBT resource centre Outhouse, and has performed at the Dublin Fringe Festival, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic and First Fortnight. Her alternative music show for TG4, Ceol ar an Imeall, is currently in its sixth series, and she is also a reporter for the TG4 arts show Imeall. She co-founded the music documentary film festival OneTwoOneTwo and is a member of Agility, a collaborative group working on creative projects and start-ups. Her first book, an oral history of the marriage equality movement in Ireland, will be published in late 2014.

I’ll be talking largely about gender imbalance in the Irish media across print, radio and film, trolling, protecting women in the media and how the silencing of LGBT voices in the media is a feminist issue.


Sophie Bennett

Sophie Bennett is Co-Director of UK Feminista, - an organisation which supports and promotes grassroots feminist activism (  She was previously Campaigns and Policy Officer at Object and Welfare and Equality Officer at the University of Bristol Students’ Union.  She has taught at the Uganda Martyrs University in Uganda and founded the University of Bristol Feminist Society in 2009. Interviews with Sophie have appeared on Sky News, Channel 5 News, ITV news and in the GuardianObserver and Independent.


In May 2013 UK Feminista and Object launched the Lose the Lads’ Mags campaign, calling on retailers to stop selling sexist, harmful lads’ mags. The campaign took on some of the UK’s biggest retailers and within six months of launching, the Co-op had withdrawn lads' mags from its 4000 stores and Tesco had age-restricted theirs. Since then Nuts and Front magazine have folded, Stuff has dropped objectifying images of women from its covers and Loaded has re-launched without its pornified content.

This presentation will explore what made the ‘Lose the Lads’ Mags’ campaign so powerful and why strategy was key. It will discuss the degrading and harmful portrayal of women in lads’ mags and how selling these publications can breach Equality Law.

Rachel Doyle: National Women’s Council of Ireland

Rachel Doyle has worked with the National Women’s Council of Ireland since 2004 and is Head of Development and Outreach at NWCI. She is a qualified community worker with over 20 years’ experience of working in the community and voluntary sector at local and national levels in Ireland including as co-ordinator of Galway Travellers Support Group (now Galway Travellers Movement) for 5 years and of the National Traveller Women’s Forum for 3 years. Her particular areas of responsibility in NWCI include provision of support for campaigns of survivors of institutional abuse, co-ordination of the Women’s Human Rights Alliance, NWCI’s anti-racism and integration policy work, promotion of gender mainstreaming in health services, local and community development, and membership support and development.


National Women’s Council of Ireland Presentation

Hearing Women’s Voices?

The under representation of women in the media and the portrayal of women in different media forms are of core concern to NWCI members and feminists in Ireland and throughout the world. The presentation will explore the causes and impacts of women’s exclusion from the media and the role and responsibility of the media in democratic society. It will outline key issues raised by NWCI to the BAI’s Draft Code on fairness, impartiality and accountability in news and current affairs and the AAI’s 2013 Review of the Code of Advertising Standards and the Code of Sales Promotion Practice.

In addition, the presentation will include an overview of NWCI’s new research project being undertaken in association with DCU’s School of Communications entitled “Hearing Women’s Voices”? Exploring women’s underrepresentation in current affairs radio programming in Ireland.

EU Recommendation CM/Rec(2013) 1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on gender equality and media advises that: “Member States should particularly ensure, through appropriate means, that media regulators respect gender equality principles in their decision making and practice.” This recommendation comes in direct response to the continuing underrepresentation of women on the air, a situation that is particularly acute in Ireland in relation to radio coverage of current affairs, politics and economics.

The NWCI/DCU research project is being funded by the BAI and will document current levels of female participation in current affairs radio programming and identify any issues arising at production level which may be contributing to lower levels of participation. The presentation will outline the rationale for, issues being explored in and expected outcomes of the project.

Women's Studies

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