STAND News talks to IWA about their work during COVID-19

STAND News talks to IWA about their work during COVID-19

STAND News talked to Joan from the Irish Wheelchair Association about how they’re aiding the disabled community during COVID-19.

See how you can help out here. 

STAND News Explains: Cahersiveen Controversy

STAND News Explains takes a look into the situation in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry in a direct provision centre where the coronavirus has spread massively. Locals and refugees in the centre are very concerned.

Betty Nyagoha from Nairobi, Kenya talks about the Gatoto school and COVID-19

Betty Nyagoha is the director of the “Gatoto Integrated Development Programme” in Nairobi, Kenya and talked to STAND News about the school itself and the challenges occuring through COVID-19.

A Biodiversity Crisis in Ireland

Despite the Dáil passing a motion declaring a biodiversity emergency last May, little has happened since. Now, activists are calling for the implementation of an Irish garda unit dedicated to fighting wildlife crime.

Sarah Benson of Women’s Aid Ireland Talks Domestic Violence and COVID-19

Sarah Benson of Women’s Aid discusses the particular vulnerabilities many people are currently facing in Covid-19 lockdown in relation to domestic violence and what supports are available.

Documenting the Lesbos Human Experience with Fellipe Lopes

On the Greek island of Lesbos is the Moria refugee camp, constructed for 3,100 people but now with a population of more than 20,000 men, women and children.

Before lockdown, we met with one of the few people with first-hand experience of the camp, photojournalist Fellipe Lopes.

The 8th of April: International Traveller and Roma Day

The 8th of April: International Traveller and Roma Day

International Traveller and Roma Day is celebrated every year on April 8th. This date marks the opening day of the first World Roma Congress in 1971 in Orpington, England. Nearly fifty years later, this day is still celebrated by Traveller and Roma communities throughout the world.

Travellers are Ireland’s only indigenous ethnic minority and have been an integral part of the country’s cultural diversity for hundreds of years. As of 2016, there were almost 31,000 Travellers in the Republic of Ireland, representing 0.7% of the general population. The Travelling community is united by a shared history, culture and identity and a common language known as Shelta, Cant or Gammon. Irish Travellers are a traditionally nomadic group and nomadism is still practised by many but not all members of the community today. Other distinctive features of the Traveller way of life include strong ties to extended family and the keeping of horses. The Traveller community is also marked by a rich storytelling and musical tradition. Several Irish musicians, such as Christy Moore, have recognised the debt owed to Travellers for preserving the country’s musical heritage.

In recent decades there has been an increasing number of strong, community-led organisations advocating for Traveller rights. Groups such as Pavee Point, the Irish Traveller Movement and Minceirs Whiden have fought to bring an end to discrimination and achieve full equality between the Travelling and Settled community. Some hard-won achievements include the state’s recognition of Traveller ethnicity in 2017 and the 2018 Traveller Culture and History in Education Bill. This is not to mention the huge personal triumphs of many members of the Travelling community, such as that of Sindy Joyce, who in 2019 became the first Irish Traveller to graduate with a PhD. However, despite the many collective and personal milestones achieved by this community, Irish society continues to be a place of discrimination and inequality for Travellers.

There is a long history of chronic racism against the Travelling community in Ireland. Travellers constitute the largest single category of discrimination reported to the responsible agencies. This discrimination often takes the form of refusal of entry to restaurants, pubs and shops. A case settled in the Circuit Civil Court in December 2019 dealt with a popular Dublin Pub which had refused entry to a Traveller family going for lunch. The court held that the pub had a “clear policy” of excluding Travellers and Justice O’Connor commented that the case was “reminiscent of a dark period of Irish history.” However, for the vast majority of Irish Travellers, discrimination is not a matter of history. Research cited by the Human Rights and Equality Commission indicates that 90% of Travellers have experienced discrimination at some point in their lifetime and that 77% had experienced discrimination in the previous year.

This discrimination is often normalised and even encouraged by members of the settled population. In research carried out with the general public in 2017, 27% of respondents agreed with the statement ‘it is acceptable for Travellers to be refused entry to hotels, pubs and shops.’ Anti-Traveller sentiments among the Irish public today have been traced back to the historic marginalisation and oppression of nomadic peoples. This intolerance was further exacerbated by the Irish states attempts to coercively assimilate the Traveller population, a process which began in the early 1960’s. Today, racism towards Travellers is constantly reproduced in public discourse, online and by politicians in election campaigns. The 2019 UN CERD report expressed concerns about the increasing rise of hate speech against Travellers as a political tool, and the inadequacy of Irish legislation to prevent this. The prevalence of racism in Irish society is profoundly damaging to the wellbeing of Travellers, both on a communal and individual level.

The effects of Anti-Traveller discrimination can be seen in almost all aspects of our society. Travellers face severe inequality in education and employment. In 2016, 55% of Travellers had only primary level education and just over 1% of travellers had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Representatives of the Traveller community have often spoken about how Travellers are pushed out rather than dropping out of education. Issues such as bullying, discrimination and a lack of respect for Traveller culture within the schooling system contribute to low educational attainment within the community. These barriers to education, alongside widespread discrimination in the labour market, have contributed to the extremely high unemployment rate of 80% within the Travelling community.

Accommodation is another area in which the Traveller community is disadvantaged. There is a severe lack of culturally appropriate accommodation that facilitates a nomadic lifestyle and allows for extended families to live together on the basis of their shared identity. Furthermore, due to the state’s policy of assimilation, legal structures have been put in place which make nomadism extremely difficult. As well as this severe interference with cultural expression, Travellers often face substandard living conditions in their accommodation. One third of the Travelling community live without access to basic sanitation facilities, water and electricity, and 60% live without internet access. These conditions have serious knock-on effects for the health, education and employment opportunities of Travellers.

Perhaps one of the most acute challenges facing the Travelling community today is health inequality. In 2010, infant mortality rates among Travellers were 3.6 times the national average. Traveller women had a life expectancy eleven years lower than that of women in the general public; for Traveller men this gap was fifteen years. The consequences of inequality are also acutely seen in the mental health epidemic facing the Travelling community. Suicide rates among Travellers are six times the national average, accounting for one in ten deaths. Bridgie Casey, a Traveller woman who has lost twelve members of her extended family to suicide, described the severity of this issue at the opening of the first Minceirs Whiden office in Limerick in 2017. In her words, “We’ve a pain on our shoulder from carrying coffins.” Many, including Casey, have spoken out about how racism against Travellers has been the primary factor fuelling this crisis. Poor living conditions, discrimination in healthcare and a lack of culturally sensitive services have also been cited as likely causes of the general health disadvantages among Travellers. Troublingly, there is evidence to suggest that health inequalities between Travellers and the general public have been growing over the last few decades.

Despite the huge barriers left to overcome, Irish Travellers continue to fight for equality through community-led activism. World Roma and Traveller day is an opportunity to recognise the work of Traveller activist’s past and present and appreciate the diversity which the Travelling community has brought to Ireland for centuries. However, this day also serves as a reminder of the extent to which Ireland has failed its’ indigenous ethnic minority and how far we have to come before equality can be achieved. 

 

Photo by Pavee Point 

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

 

STAND News talks to IWA about their work during COVID-19

STAND News talked to Joan from the Irish Wheelchair Association about how they're aiding the disabled community during COVID-19.See how you can help out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsoJTx-r1n0

The 8th of April: International Traveller and Roma Day

World Roma and Traveller Day is an opportunity to recognise the work of activist’s past and present and appreciate the diversity which the community has brought to Ireland for centuries. However, this day also serves as a reminder of the extent to which Ireland has failed its’ indigenous ethnic minority and how far we have to come before equality can be achieved.

New Emojis to Highlight Diversity

Emojis play an important role in digital communication, allowing us to express our emotions and convey meaning through cute little symbols. However, our ability to communicate is limited by the pictures and symbols on offer, and so emojis can make a big difference!

An Interview with OurTable: “It All Comes Down to Integration”

STAND’s Cedric speaks to Ellie Kisyombe from Our TABLE Dublin about the history of Direct Provision in Ireland, changes to the system and the role of ‘OurTable’. 

The Challenges of Coming Out Later in Life

Ireland has experienced the AIDS epidemic, witnessed the Fairview Park murders and has seen same-sex marriage passed into law by popular vote. While these historical events have brought the idea of the existence of LGBT people into everyday conversation, are the resources out there benefitting all members of the community?

STAND Student Podcast Episode 6: The Gender Recognition Act review – Why were some people left behind?

In November last year the Gender Recognition Act 2015 went through a review which left some groups out – meaning certain groups won’t be able to have their preferred gender recognised by law.

New Emojis to Highlight Diversity

New Emojis to Highlight Diversity

Emojis play an important role in digital communication, allowing us to express our emotions and convey meaning through cute little symbols. However, our ability to communicate is limited by the pictures and symbols on offer, and so emojis can make a big difference! As the adage goes, you can’t be what you can’t see. 

 

Emojis have faced much criticism in the past for a lack of diversity, which led to the introduction of emojis with different skin tones and genders, as well as same-sex and interracial couples, and emojis depicting persons with disabilities. In 2019, a period ‘blood droplet’ emoji became available following a campaign to combat period stigma.

 

Today, we are able to choose from over 3,000 emojis in Unicode Standard. It may seem as though there is already an emoji for everything: facial expressions, nature, food, sports, everyday objects, and other symbols. But the 2020 release of 117 new emojis is evidence that there is always room for more diversity and more creativity.

 

One very exciting aspect of this new release is the inclusion of a gender-neutral version of several emojis. New emojis include a woman feeding a baby, a man feeding a baby, and a person feeding a baby – representing various gender identities and expressions (a previous emoji release added a breastfeeding emoji for women, but the only alternative was a lone baby bottle). Increased representation of gender identities seems to have been a key focus of the new release which also includes the transgender flag and transgender symbol, as well as gender variations in bridal veils and tuxedos. There is even a new gender-neutral Mx. Claus to add to existing Mr and Mrs Claus. 

 

There is a myth that technology is neutral but emojis show how it can subtly reinforce values that are baked into our culture. Happily, these new emojis are challenging the limited binary conception of gender that is prevalent today. The representation of diversity in skin tone and gender of the new emojis is an important step towards equality and visibility of often marginalized groups.  Other exciting additions to emoji 13.0 include blueberries, bubble tea, a bison, and a boomerang. If you want to check out all the new emojis before they become available on our devices, see this released list

 

 

 

Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

 

STAND News talks to IWA about their work during COVID-19

STAND News talked to Joan from the Irish Wheelchair Association about how they're aiding the disabled community during COVID-19.See how you can help out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsoJTx-r1n0

The 8th of April: International Traveller and Roma Day

World Roma and Traveller Day is an opportunity to recognise the work of activist’s past and present and appreciate the diversity which the community has brought to Ireland for centuries. However, this day also serves as a reminder of the extent to which Ireland has failed its’ indigenous ethnic minority and how far we have to come before equality can be achieved.

New Emojis to Highlight Diversity

Emojis play an important role in digital communication, allowing us to express our emotions and convey meaning through cute little symbols. However, our ability to communicate is limited by the pictures and symbols on offer, and so emojis can make a big difference!

An Interview with OurTable: “It All Comes Down to Integration”

STAND’s Cedric speaks to Ellie Kisyombe from Our TABLE Dublin about the history of Direct Provision in Ireland, changes to the system and the role of ‘OurTable’. 

The Challenges of Coming Out Later in Life

Ireland has experienced the AIDS epidemic, witnessed the Fairview Park murders and has seen same-sex marriage passed into law by popular vote. While these historical events have brought the idea of the existence of LGBT people into everyday conversation, are the resources out there benefitting all members of the community?

STAND Student Podcast Episode 6: The Gender Recognition Act review – Why were some people left behind?

In November last year the Gender Recognition Act 2015 went through a review which left some groups out – meaning certain groups won’t be able to have their preferred gender recognised by law.

An Interview with OurTable: “It All Comes Down to Integration”

An Interview with OurTable: “It All Comes Down to Integration”

STAND talks to Ellie Kisyombe from Our TABLE Dublin about the history of Direct Provision in Ireland, changes to the system and the role of ‘OurTable’. 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse more videos below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

STAND News Explains: Cahersiveen Controversy

STAND News Explains takes a look into the situation in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry in a direct provision centre where the coronavirus has spread massively. Locals and refugees in the centre are very concerned.

Betty Nyagoha from Nairobi, Kenya talks about the Gatoto school and COVID-19

Betty Nyagoha is the director of the “Gatoto Integrated Development Programme” in Nairobi, Kenya and talked to STAND News about the school itself and the challenges occuring through COVID-19.

A Biodiversity Crisis in Ireland

Despite the Dáil passing a motion declaring a biodiversity emergency last May, little has happened since. Now, activists are calling for the implementation of an Irish garda unit dedicated to fighting wildlife crime.

Sarah Benson of Women’s Aid Ireland Talks Domestic Violence and COVID-19

Sarah Benson of Women’s Aid discusses the particular vulnerabilities many people are currently facing in Covid-19 lockdown in relation to domestic violence and what supports are available.

Documenting the Lesbos Human Experience with Fellipe Lopes

On the Greek island of Lesbos is the Moria refugee camp, constructed for 3,100 people but now with a population of more than 20,000 men, women and children.

Before lockdown, we met with one of the few people with first-hand experience of the camp, photojournalist Fellipe Lopes.

STAND News talks to IWA about their work during COVID-19

STAND News talked to Joan from the Irish Wheelchair Association about how they're aiding the disabled community during COVID-19.See how you can help out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsoJTx-r1n0
The Challenges of Coming Out Later in Life

The Challenges of Coming Out Later in Life

Back in 1975, at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in Ireland,  Chair of the Irish Gay Rights movement, David Norris, spoke on RTÉ, placing himself at odds with the law by publicly coming out as a gay man and defending gay people. It would take 18 years after this interview with RTÉ for homosexuality to be decriminalized and the state to cease actively opposing the foundation of organizations aimed at helping people come to terms with their sexual orientation.

 

Fast forward to 2020, and Ireland has experienced the AIDS epidemic, witnessed the Fairview Park murders and has seen same-sex marriage passed into law by popular vote – the first country in the world to do so. While these historical events, for better or worse, have brought the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) into everyday conversation, we must question whether current support resources in Ireland are benefitting all members of the community.

 

Despite an improvement in the status of LGBT rights in Ireland that has happened over the course of their lifetime, the older generation seems to have been left behind. As stated by LGBT Ireland, “as a group, older LGBT people have been much more invisible in the community. However, this group does exist and it is estimated that up to 8% of persons in Ireland aged-65 years and over may be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

 

In an interview, Senator David Norris stated that nonprofit organisations such as BeLonG To and SpunOut offer “resources that are principally targeted at young people. This is exactly as it should be as they are the ones facing an urgent crisis in their life.” However, he admits that “more general support would be very useful” in regards to educating and supporting older members of the LGBT community at all levels, including government, community and familial.

 

Although  BeLonG To and SpunOut are specifically aimed at providing guidance for younger people discovering their sexuality and gender identity, steps have been taken to help integrate older people into the LGBT community and the support systems it provides. For example, LGBT Ireland has created the specific role LGBT Champions Coordinator, intended to offer support and information for older members of the LGBT community.

 

James O’Hagan, the current coordinator with the organisation, elaborated in an interview on the importance of the role: “The LGBT Champions are a network of health and social care professionals working in older people’s care services.[They] have received training on how to make their practice, and practice settings safe, inclusive and enabling environment where an older LGBT person can feel comfortable being who they are.” 

 

Like other minority groups within Ireland, older members of the community face a unique “set of challenges above those of their straight peers, mostly derived from isolation and from living in a society in which they could not be open about their sexuality or gender identity. There is a much higher risk of older LGBT people being lonely and isolated and this can have an enormously negative impact on their mental and physical health and well-being over time,” said O’Hagan. This is precisely why organizations such as LGBT Ireland represent a key opportunity for older LGBT people to connect with a community and avoid isolation.

 

On Friday 7th February, the conversation around the experience of coming out for older people resurfaced with fervour when talk show host of This Morning, Philip Schofield publicly announced on Instagram that he was a gay man. The announcement shocked some, as he had been married to his wife Stephanie for 27 years with two daughters.

 

Schofield discussed his decision to come out at the time with co-presenter Holly Willoughby on their show; the interview has gathered over six million views at the time of publication.

 

“People who are choosing to come out later in life will have grown up in a more repressive and unaccepting society than exists today, this may have reinforced a fear of not being accepted and created a shame around their true gender identity or sexuality which will be deeply embedded,” noted O’Hagan.

 

According to O’Hagan, “older LGBT people may also have practical considerations to take into account when coming out that will be very different from teenagers, many older LGBT people may have spouses or children, and will experience guilt associated with how their decision to come out will impact these people.”

 

These factors have combined have resulted in a disparity between younger and older generations of the LGBT community. As stated by O’Hagan, “It is definitely the case that older LGBT people are often forgotten about, or are an invisible group in society.”

 

Students who have come up through the education system and recognise the gaps in education and resources available have begun to address these issues at a grassroots level. In UCD, the LGBT society has introduced a postgraduate representative to aid outreach with the older community. Society auditor, A.E. Quinn, said that after noticing the lack of engagement with mature students, “the role has worked and created a more diverse age group in the society this year, but we’re not perfect and there’s still more work to be done.”

 

According to A.E Quinn,  the UCD LGBT society emphasises the importance for young people to acknowledge that “there’s definitely more judgement for older people and in some instances, kids are involved. There’s a bigger risk of a breakdown in relationships, but on the other side some people are held to ransom and made come out.”

 

“For older people, I definitely feel there’s a greater stigma around coming out despite the known narrative of people proclaiming we’re too young to know our sexuality and gender.”- A.E Quinn

 

Almost thirty years after decriminalisation in Ireland, elderly LGBT people are finally beginning to see more events, tailored campaigns and initiatives aimed at people aged over-55; For example, the ‘Older than Pride’ initiative is organised between Dublin Pride and Age Action Ireland to “celebrate and highlight a forgotten demographic.”

 

Photo by  

 

 

Browse more stories below or sign up to our newsletter to receive our top news straight to your inbox!

 

 

 

STAND News talks to IWA about their work during COVID-19

STAND News talked to Joan from the Irish Wheelchair Association about how they're aiding the disabled community during COVID-19.See how you can help out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsoJTx-r1n0

The 8th of April: International Traveller and Roma Day

World Roma and Traveller Day is an opportunity to recognise the work of activist’s past and present and appreciate the diversity which the community has brought to Ireland for centuries. However, this day also serves as a reminder of the extent to which Ireland has failed its’ indigenous ethnic minority and how far we have to come before equality can be achieved.

New Emojis to Highlight Diversity

Emojis play an important role in digital communication, allowing us to express our emotions and convey meaning through cute little symbols. However, our ability to communicate is limited by the pictures and symbols on offer, and so emojis can make a big difference!

An Interview with OurTable: “It All Comes Down to Integration”

STAND’s Cedric speaks to Ellie Kisyombe from Our TABLE Dublin about the history of Direct Provision in Ireland, changes to the system and the role of ‘OurTable’. 

The Challenges of Coming Out Later in Life

Ireland has experienced the AIDS epidemic, witnessed the Fairview Park murders and has seen same-sex marriage passed into law by popular vote. While these historical events have brought the idea of the existence of LGBT people into everyday conversation, are the resources out there benefitting all members of the community?

STAND Student Podcast Episode 6: The Gender Recognition Act review – Why were some people left behind?

In November last year the Gender Recognition Act 2015 went through a review which left some groups out – meaning certain groups won’t be able to have their preferred gender recognised by law.

STAND Student Podcast Episode 6: The Gender Recognition Act review – Why were some people left behind?

STAND Student Podcast Episode 6: The Gender Recognition Act review – Why were some people left behind?

Listen to the podcast on the following platforms:

iTunes

Spotify

Google Podcasts

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Overcast

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In November last year the Gender Recognition Act 2015 went through a review which left some groups out – meaning certain groups won’t be able to have their preferred gender recognised by law.

We talked to Ollie Bell from Trans Pride Dublin to learn more about where we’re at in terms of true gender recognition for all, and what we can do to finally get there. 

Follow us on Instagram @stand.ie for updates and links to future podcast episodes.