Research Reports

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Trades, Training and Tradition

The TWN publication, ‘Trades, Training and Tradition: Mechanisms for Encouraging Women into Non-Traditional Occupations’, was launched in March 2009 at the annual Women in Construction Conference. The publication examined the history and reasons for gender segregation in the workplace and indicates the work still to be achieved in this field.


Unionist Women Active in the Conflict in Northern Ireland

The report draws on the experiences and differences that women went through alongside that of their male counterparts. Over the years, much has been written about the reasons, difficulties and the resources needed to bring men forward into the post conflict era while little or nothing has been done or researched into the needs of women involved in the conflict.

The report recommendations drawn from the research evidence, are extremely important if we are to encourage women from all sections of the community to move forward together into a more stable society.

This research also shines a light into the dark corners of our society and acknowledges not only the role of women but, women who were active in the conflict and identifies and highlights recommendations that should be used in the reconstruction process of Northern Ireland.


Study visit to Sarajevo November 2007

Supported by a bursary from NI-CO, the TWN Policy and Research Officer went to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 5-9 November 2007 to make connections with organisations working in the area of gender equality and to investigate comparisons between the post-conflict contexts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Northern Ireland in terms of women’s empowerment.


Women into non-traditional occupations 2007

The Women into Non-Traditional Sectors (WINS) project led by Belfast City Council and the Equal at Work project in Dublin, both part-funded by the EU Equal Initiative, commissioned research into mechanisms for brining women into non-traditional occupations north and south. Training for Women Network (TWN) carried out the work for Northern Ireland and the Women’s Education Resource and Research Centre (WERRC) at University College Dublin (UCD) carried out the research for the Republic of Ireland.


Occupational segregation in Northern Ireland

A baseline report, produced for the Women into Non-Traditional Sectors (WINS) Equal project as part of the Horizon Crossing transnational partnership with projects in Germany and the Netherlands


In Their Own Words

The objectives of the research were to assess how far the promises of the Belfast Agreement have been achieved in providing the necessary resources to meet the needs of victims, to support community-based programmes, to place women within the context of the victims sector, and to indicate the level of their participation at all levels. With the aim of the research to provide people, in the victims sector, with a medium to express themselves outside the framework of research and consultation, that has taken place in the past.

The report itself has been the concluding chapter of what undoubtedly has been a positive and learning relationship between the TWN and groups working with the needs of victims in Northern Ireland.What was extremely valuable to the TWN is that this is the first piece of research that has specifically focussed on the role of women involved in the work of this sector, something that is at the core of TWN.


Trading Cultures

Northern Ireland is rapidly becoming a more diverse society. Research by Jarman indicates that 31,421 individuals applied for National Insurance numbers between April 2003 and June 2005, applicants coming from Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, India, Slovakia, the Philippines and China in numbers over a thousand and from 113 other countries in lesser numbers.

Numbers of people resident in Northern Ireland from minority ethnic communities vary, but, apart from the 14272 individuals who described themselves as not ‘white’ in the 2001 Census, there is estimated to be around 24,000 migrant workers.


Minority Ethnic Women Entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland

A research project was carried out by Training for Women Network (TWN) and funded by the Community Relations Council to investigate the barriers to participation faced by women from minority ethnic backgrounds in starting up and conducting businesses in Northern Ireland.

The research encompassed issues for businesses in general, issues for women, issues for members of minority ethnic groups and multiple barriers due to gender and ethnicity. Interviews and focus groups were held with women from minority ethnic communities who were involved in business, had tried to open businesses, had considered opening businesses or had rejected the idea of starting a business due to the perceived barriers.


Women, Civil Society and Peacebuilding Ireland

Women have long been recognised as having played a major and visible role in peace movements. Debates relating to innate passivity in women, socialisation processes, differential impact of conflict and coincidental factors are explored. Notions of civil society are also investigated and how women are included (or not) in the theory.

In particular, it is argued that the participation of women is a key identifier of both binding and bridging social capital. The interaction of civil society with the project of peace-building is also analysed, where the involvement of civil associations is a factor in building participative democracy and has a role in bypassing conflict elites which often hold societies along lines of division.

Using the investment in women’s training as part of Peace and Reconciliation funding in Northern Ireland as an example, it is concluded that the empowerment of women through building their capacity to participate is essential to building social capital and creating the conditions for a lasting, inclusive peace.


Victims, Survivors and Forgiveness

The concept of ‘Forgiveness’ has been an important issue in the peace building, reconciliation and cross community efforts that have continued throughout the Northern Ireland conflict and other conflicts throughout the world. The object of this report was to explore and highlight the difficulty that the notion of ‘Forgiveness’ poses in attempting to accept and resolve issues about historical events.

Many people affected by inter-community violence have viewed the idea of forgiveness as a sign of surrender or weakness. The report recognises this as well as the need for continued ‘Truth Telling’ sessions to allow those who have been victims to relate their experiences and express what the concept of ‘Forgiveness’ means to them.

The report itself has been a result of a close working partnership between TWN, The Institute of Governance (QUB), The Forgiveness Project and various community, victim and voluntary groups across the Northern Ireland. The weeklong exhibition and seminars in June 2005 allowed members of the general public also to participate and contribute to discussions in this report.