New advisory committee on the representation of women in National Cultural Institutions' collections
2 Oct 2023
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin announced (27 September) her intention to establish a committee to advise on the representation of women and women’s stories within the collections of the National Cultural Institutions. The committee will also consider the possibility of creating a dedicated presentation of women’s stories through a range of options, within the framework of the Public Spending Code.
In recent years there has been increasing awareness of the under-representation of women in Irish society, as well as a growing recognition of the need to highlight women’s contributions to the State’s political, scientific, social and cultural history. It is against this backdrop that Minister Martin will establish the committee to recommend actions that showcase the achievements of women within the National Cultural Institutions and the National Collection. The committee will engage with a broad cross-section of stakeholders to identify best practice models that will support cultural institutions in representing women’s stories through cultural experiences.
The membership of the committee has not yet been appointed but will include representation from the National Cultural Institutions and the broader museums, archives, and galleries sector, those with equity, diversity and inclusion expertise such as the National Women’s Council of Ireland, and relevant government departments and State Bodies.
The work that the advisory committee will carry out includes identifying best practice models within cultural policy internationally that can support the National Cultural Institutions to ensure that women’s stories are appropriately reflected in the presentation of cultural heritage. They will also oversee the establishment of an audit of the National Collection to identify gaps in the representation of women and women’s stories and undertaking a review of the results.
The committee will also consider the possibility to create a dedicated presentation of women’s stories through a range of options within the framework of the Public Spending Code. These options may include a women’s museum, a re-imagining of the National Collection or other initiatives that the committee considers appropriate.