Getting Women on Board

The Proposal

  • We plan to create a propaganda campaign targeted towards women in Ireland during the Easter Rising time period. Easter Rising was a rebellion in Ireland, during which the Irish Republican Army “IRA”, fought against the English rule in an attempt to gain independence for Ireland. We believe that if more men had had support from their wives and if more women were inclined to join the revolution, the IRA could have suffered fewer losses and there would have been a bigger revolution.
  • If the women of Ireland had been more supportive and more had joined, today Ireland could be an entirely different country, it would be a more united Ireland. It matters because the IRA overlooked this key aspect of a revolution. The IRA set their sights on the men in Ireland, without ever considering the way in which the women in their lives could be effective and utilized, they could be spies, they could fight on the front lines or they could take over work at home from their husbands. A typical characteristic of a successful revolution is support from home. When women feel included and supported they in turn make great support systems. Lastly, if England and the rest of the world were to see the women of Ireland on the front lines, it would be a huge indicator that the Irish people would not back down.
    The AbstractGiven the violent nature of a revolution it can be difficult to appeal to women, especially Irish Catholic women who watch their husbands and sons leave for the front lines. However, getting women involved can be crucial to the success of a revolution. We wish to target a couple of different women from the plays set around the Easter Rising time period. We would need to target these women in a three pronged approach. The first and most broad way to reach these women would be via print. This would be pamphlets and posters explaining why the IRA and more importantly the people of Ireland need support from these women. An approach much like what Rosie the Riveter did for the US. With magazines and newspapers publishing these advertisements, women in the workplace increased significantly. With women doing the typically “male” jobs, the men were able to fight better without worrying for their families back home. The next approach is to send out IRA supporters to speak one-on-one with these women. This approach would not get as wide of a spread but, would have a higher conversion rate. Speaking with people and getting the personal interaction often leads to a higher success rate because it makes the women feel important and personally connected to the campaign. This would be the way to reach mothers who are not convinced that their sons should be involved with the IRA as well as mothers of men who were hurt in the fighting. With this approach we would target mothers like Juno Boyle from the play Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey. She does not approve of the IRA because she has had first hand experience with the risk that is incurred in a revolution. It would be important to send out as many female members of the IRA as possible to speak with these women. Women like Mairead Farrell who are passionate about the cause and the freedom of Ireland. When these women feel that their opinions are being valued by the organization and they are personally connected, they will be more likely to give their support.The last way to reach these women, and possibly the hardest would be to hold gatherings specific for women by the IRA. These would be places where women in similar situations could gather for support. To get the word out about these meetings, word of mouth between women will be most effective, they can also be reached through their husbands. At these meetings the Irish women could stay up to date on the plans and goals of the IRA, provide insight that may have been overlooked by the leaders of the organization and learn new ways that they could support the IRA. These meetings would be for women like Karen from the play Twinkletoes by Jennifer Johnston. These women feel neglected and isolated, like an afterthought. If the IRA could show that they support her and that she is not alone, her quality of life would improve drastically. If she feels more satisfied with her life, she will be empowered to be the support that her husband needs as well as having the possibility to directly contribute and be useful to the organization. Our propaganda campaign would greatly increase the IRA’s chance for success. They would have more people supporting them from home and more people out on the field to fight. Women are a crucial but all too often overlooked group when it comes to violent conflict. We believe in their ability to be the IRA’s greatest asset.

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