The focus of this essay is on the critical and various roles, still largely unrecognised, played by religious women during the conflict in Northern Ireland. Working at the margins of society rather than in the corridors of power, they made important contributions to peace-building that ranged from grass-roots activism to secret talks. As well as contributing to the crucial work of community groups, educating the young and tending to the old, religious women established innovative and independent organisations offering succour and support to victims of the ‘Troubles’. Motivated by faith, they adhered to a value system that eschewed the violence, fear and intimidation that all the military forces party to the conflict inflicted on the working-class communities to which religious women were committed. At crucial points in the peace process, their interventions helped accelerate and promote peace-building. Theirs was a quiet presence that mattered and made a difference.
"Religious Women and Peacebuilding during the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’,"
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