07.01.14

Mairead Healy

Founder of Future Voices Ireland

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Mairead is the Founder/Director of an Irish charity, Future Voices Ireland (FVI), which she set up in 2012 to engage disadvantaged young people with law. FVI works with young people attending the lowest performing schools in Ireland. She set up the charity to engage and empower those young people, by investing in their long term development and give them a real opportunity to break this cycle. She has been pro-active in highlighting the marginalisation of disadvantaged young people since moving to Ireland last year, she has appeared on various national mediums, including on TV on the Vincent Browne show, on the RTE 1 Morning Ireland show, on BBC Radio Ulster and has written for the Irish Times. Mairead also hosts a radio show on a Dublin radio station, which focuses on social justice and human rights issues.

In addition, she works for the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) where she works in the PILA project, concerned with working with over 70 Irish NGOs in facilitating the provision of free legal advice in the area of public interest law. In the past, she lived and worked in London as well as in Brussels, and prior to moving back to Dublin she was employed in the Irish Traveller Movement in the UK to advocate on behalf of Irish Travellers. In this role, she was engaged in advocacy nationally and internationally, and was heavily involved in the Dale Farm eviction.

Mairead tweets from @missymairead

Because I am a Girl I ask …Why in 2014, we still have not achieved equality for women in Ireland. I ask why so few women make it to the highest decision making levels in all areas of Irish life, from the business world, to the political sphere, in our government and legal systems and in representation in the media- why are women still not equal citizens in Ireland?

Because I am a Girl I believe …In a world where women are not constantly judged on their looks, where a woman is judged on her spirit, energy, integrity and her words and actions.

Because I am a Girl I hope …That an increasing influence of women at senior level will lead to more rational decision making by governments and organisations, less corruption and more compassion for those must vulnerable in our society.

Because I am a Girl I wonder …How equality will really be achieved without mass collective action and a new wave of feminism in which both men and women alike will unite in calling for equal treatment for women.

Because I am a Girl I dream …Of finding my soul mate with similar ideals to myself, with whom I would be able to totally be myself around.

Because I am a Girl I remember …Growing up as a teenager in the 90s, when it was much easier before the internet really existed. It was much simpler for girls in those days before social media came along, which presents much more challenges and pressures to girls growing up.

Because I am a Girl I like … That I am forever evolving and constantly growing in the way in which I view the world. As I mature, I feel increasingly comfortable and independent in my thoughts and actions, dictated not by society but by my own moral compass.

Because I am a Girl I dislike …Stereotypes. Girls are still bound by gender roles, and this is detrimental to the personal development of women. We must break free from these roles, which are often self-imposed as a result of what is expected by society as we seek to find our own positions in the world.

Because I am a Girl I feel …Love for humanity and positive energy towards everyone I meet. We are so blessed to be able to have the chance to make a difference in our own and other’s lives. Miracles and opportunities to have a positive effect on others happen present themselves every day and are everywhere if we choose to only see. The miraculous birth of each and every child, a smile which lights up another’s face and choosing to do the right thing despite opposition, are some examples of such opportunities. Each and every action we do, has an impact on others in the universe.

Because I am a Girl I celebrate…Achievement of other inspiring women who collectively are change-makers encouraging others to have the courage to do the same and follow in their footsteps.

The views expressed in all blogs, are those of the authors only and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of of Plan Ireland  

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