Women in the North: their long struggle for freedom
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.