When the banks collapsed and Ireland was catapulted almost overnight into an economic meltdown, the commentary and analysis of what had just happened was provided almost exclusively by men. However, the austerity that followed, the bail out of banks and the dismantling of many public services impacted disproportionately on women.
In this discussion we will ask if women were more present in economic debate, analysis, discussion and policy formulation, would the questions that we ask be different and informed by women's lived experience? Would we agree with panelist Dawn Foster whose book Lean Out counters arguments made by Sheryl Sandberg in Lean In, in particular the view that 'trickle down' feminism benefits everyone? Also joining us will be Frances Weetman, winner of the inaugural Virago New Statesman prize for Economics and Politics, asking Whose Model Is It Anyway?, challenging our persistent trust of awed economic models.
Join Kathy Sheridan of The Irish Times as chair of this discussion for a stimulating and challenging opener to our International Women's Day Programme at Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival.
Dawn Foster is a London-based journalist, writing predominantly on social affairs, politics, economics and women's rights. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, New Humanist and Open Democracy. She regularly appears as a political commentator on BBC's Newsnight and Sky News. Foster's first book, Lean Out, was published in January 2016 by Repeater Books. Her second book, Where Will We Live? a commentary on the UK housing crisis, will be published by Repeater in 2018. She is currently completing another book, a cultural history of the dole. Foster was awarded the International Building Press Prize for Young Journalist of the Year in 2014, and was named Non-traditional Journalist of the Year at the inaugural Words by Women Awards, longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain's Social Evils in 2017 and shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award 2017.
Frances Weetman is a 2013 Durham University graduate in Economics and Politics. At Durham she developed her writing, started at the Royal Court Theatre as a regular contributor to its Young Writers’ Project and as editor of political articles for the university’s newspapers. Frances has had paid internships with HSBC and the investment bank Nomura, but instead of taking up a graduate banking job offer she has decided to concentrate on film-making and writing. Having made educational films for Durham University, she is setting up an independent documentary film-making project with the aim of increasing political engagement and young voter turn-out. She is a Fabian Women mentee.
Kathy Sheridan is an Irish Times Staff journalist.