‘Things have changed for Traveller women. They’re more courageous now’

The Women’s Podcast live from The Mansion House in Dublin marks International Women’s Day 2023

Listen | 55:42

Before performing a soaring version of Luke Kelly’s The Night Visiting song, Sharyn Ward told a live audience of Women’s Podcast listeners about how life had changed for Traveller women in recent years.

“Things have changed a lot for Traveller women,” Ward said, while acknowledging the considerable challenges still faced by the community.

“They’re more courageous now. A bit boulder, as we’d say down the country”.

Ward was one of six guests taking part in The Women’s Podcast live recording at The Mansion House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Women’s Council and to mark International Women’s Day 2023.


In the company of podcast listeners and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conway, hosts Róisín Ingle and Kathy Sheridan spoke to Dr Salome Mbugua, Sonya Lennon, Tara Flynn, Suzy Byrne and Orla O’Connor. It was the first such live event for the podcast in three years.

Guests celebrated Fifty Years of Feminism and looked back at the triumphs and struggles of women in Ireland. Issues discussed included poverty, exclusion and caring.

Disability and LGBT activist, Suzy Byrne, emphasised the anxiety currently felt in the lesbian, gay and trans community. “We’re seeing what’s happening with trans and non-binary people. And they’re coming for the lesbians next. Because we’re easy to pick off. That’s what it feels like to a lot of people in the LGBT community… They want to eradicate us from education, from health, from the workplace. "

‘We say “no woman left behind,”’ Director of the National Women’s Council, Orla O’Connor told the audience. “We know that for so many women, those achievements [of the last 50 years] are not felt in the same way.”

Listen back on the player, above, or wherever you get your podcasts.