Ireland/Northern Ireland: Feminist Constitutional Futures 

Ireland/Northern Ireland: Feminist Constitutional Futures 

The Feminist Constitutional Futures Project (FemCon) is about imagining what a Feminist constitutional future could look like on the island of Ireland. The project embraces feminist ideas of constitutional law, but also law and art, law and literature, especially feminist utopias, as well as drawing inspiration from the work of activist feminists in law and policy across Northern Ireland and Ireland historically, and in recent years.

Over the past few years, and especially since Brexit, there has been increasing discussions about the political future of the island. This project reframes these debates, the project does not begin with sovereignty, territoriality but rather asks some feminist questions about what we would like the future to look like. For instance, who gets to draft constitutions, who gets to decide the agenda of what goes into them, how could we draft constitutions in a feminist way? It looks to law and literature to consider what a feminist constitution could look like, for instance, how might decision-making work in a feminist constitution? It also draws on law and art to ask how to we represent constitutions, how do constitutions operate within society, on the body, across our lives? The project also engages with feminist activists and civil society across Ireland and Northern Ireland and their rich experiences of long running campaigning for legal change.

Over the three episodes included here we talk to a range of guests about what Feminist Constitutionalism means to them.

FemCon 1: Introducing FemCon and asking new questions about constitutional change in Northern/Ireland. In this episode we talk with Ailbe Smyth and Joanna McMinn about their experience of feminist legal change in Ireland and Northern Ireland from an activist perspective. 

FemCon 2: Imagining feminist constitutional futures through the arts and utopian fiction. In this episode we talk with Ruth Houghton about feminist utopian literature and Jess Jones about her work as an artist in projects that cross law and feminism. 

FemCon 3: Learning from transnational feminist struggle for constitutional change. In this episode we talk with Luis Eslava and Amaya Alvez about recent experiences of feminist constitutional change in Chile and with Rachel Rebouche about her knowledge of the US, constitutionalism and feminism. 

FemCon is brought to you by Máiréad Enright (Birmingham University Law School), Aoife O’Donoghue (Queen’s University Belfast Law School) and Catherine O’Rourke (Durham Law School).

FemCon podcasts episodes were produced by Orla Higgins with sound editing by Andy Gaffney