We need to remember how we make things happen. Twenty-five years ago, gender was not on the university agenda. There were few women in leadership positions and fewer women professors. We didn’t have a crèche, family friendly working hours and academics rarely took maternity leave. The Women’s Studies Centre was a way of reaching out to others who wanted to change scholarship and how our lives were organised, forever. I think about all who stepped into this space with belief and energy, ready to create something from nothing. One woman knew the importance of writing things down as we talked, connected, planned, strategised, lobbied, advocated, documented, minuted, networked, looked for funding, compiled our constitution, managed budgets, bonded and worked together in our ‘spare’ time. She filed and carried our papers from one meeting place to another; for years we had no home. In 1991, after unsuccessful negotiations with the university, we invited Mary Robinson to open a Women’s Studies Centre that did not exist. We told the President of the university that the President of Ireland was coming to open our new Centre. When Mary Robinson arrived, he made sure we had our own rooms. That is a day I will never forget.
Byrne, Anne. 2014 Contributor. ‘Practices of
Organising’ (Image and Commentary) for National Women’s Council, Legacy Project,
Still, We Work (Representations of Women and
Work) with Vagabond Reviews, Cork
City Hall Exhibition 3-14th March. http://www.nwcilegacyproject.com/2/post/2014/02/exhibition-march-dates-to-be-announced-soon.html