Mainstream politics in Ireland has not been welcoming to women, but many women have been present in community and voluntary organizations, where their contribution has been significant.;This work examines four organizations (including the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition) where women have been active. It discusses the processes and structures created by these groups in order to work democratically across differences, arguing that their experiences are invaluable to the development of feminist debates on democracy and difference.
CELIA DAVIES is Professor of Health Care in the School of Health and Social Welfare at the Open University, and was formerly Professor of Women's Studies and founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Women at the University of Ulster. She is the author of Gender and the Professional Predicament in Nursing (1995) and co-author of a range of reports and publications on women in Northern Ireland. - CARMEL ROULSTON is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Ulster. She has been involved in women's groups and projects for many years and has written chapters and articles on feminism and the women's movement in Northern Ireland. She is currently developing a comparative research project on women and post-conflict politics.