Women in the North: their long struggle for freedom


  • Goretti Horgan


In the 19th and early 20th century, women in the North East of the island of Ireland were crucial to that re­gion becoming ‘the linen capital of the world’. In­deed, it was the close ties of industry in the North East to the British Empire that provided the economic basis for partition when the rest of the island won its inde­pendence in 1921.

Partition brought the ‘carnival of reaction’ that James Connolly had feared and women on both sides of the border suffered from the existence of both reactionary states. This article looks at some of the ways in which the Northern Ireland state has been, and continues to be, a disaster for women’s rights.