Louise Higgins from Women’s Aid Federation and Orla Conway and Fiona Murphy from Women’s Aid Omagh headed to Croke Park in Dublin on Monday to take part in the Hanna’s House conference on UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

The conference was officially opened by President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, who held  up UNSCR 1325 as a resolution “by women, for women”, but warned that it must not fall into the trap of being mere rhetoric without action and resources behind it.

Other speakers included Professor Christine Chinkin, PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie, Fiona Buckley from 50/50, Claire Hackett from Falls Community Council, and former Human Rights Commissioner Professor Monica McWilliams. McWilliams’s speech entitled ‘It’s just a domestic…’, focused on how violence in the home was dealt with in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, at a time at which violence on the streets was so prominent.

UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which both the UK and Irish governments have signed,  recognises the unique experiences and effect of conflict on women. It contains 18 provisions to support women’s participation in peace negotiation and consolidation, including calls to increase representation of women at all levels of decision-making, respond to women’s needs in post-conflict justice and governance institutions, protect women and girls from sexual violence, and end impunity for crimes against humanity affecting women.