Local women meet former President

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, with members of the Gender Group, facilitator Maria Morgan and community access officer Eileen Canavan. INTT4612-059X

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, with members of the Gender Group, facilitator Maria Morgan and community access officer Eileen Canavan. INTT4612-059X

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A GROUP of women with learning disabilities have met Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The ladies are members of Gender Group who meet weekly to discuss issues of importance to themselves and to identify women who have been inspirational or have been a role model in their own lives.

Maria Morgan, Arts Facilitator at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, encourages, supports and enables the women in Armagh and Dungannon Gender Group to look at women from history, popular culture and in their local community.

“Through discussions, creative writing and various mediums of art, the Gender Group members discuss what characteristics they feel are necessary for themselves as women to develop confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness and independence”, said Maria. “These issues promote social inclusion and ensure they are active citizens in their own communities.”

Mary Robinson had been identified by a member of the Gender Group as a role model and a woman who had significant influences on the role of women in society.

The members shared with Mrs Robinson their issues as women with a learning disability aspiring to access opportunities in their local community, and presented her with a gift.

Micéal Crilly, Assistant Director of Disability Services at the Southern Trust, said: “The Trust is committed to enhancing the opportunities available to adults with a learning disability.

“Southern Trust staff will support users accessing services in the community so that they can become more independent, as outlined in the Transforming Your Care review of health and social care in Northern Ireland.”