New 'Women at Work' exhibition opens in Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin says it is saluting trailblazing females

New 'Women at Work' exhibition opens in Dublin

Image: littlemuseum.ie

A new exhibition has opened in Dublin, celebrating women who excel in industries traditionally dominated by men.

The Little Museum of Dublin says the exhibition salutes trailblazing females, "from historical heroines such as Eileen Gray and Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington to women of today who defy sexist attitudes".

'What's She Doing Here? Women at Work 1918-2018' runs from March 31st to June 10th.

It was opened on Sunday by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.

She says: "(The exhibition) is a fitting tribute to the many women that have helped shape our country and to the many women today that are still fighting for gender equality.

"I would encourage people to go visit the exhibition and view the beautiful photographs and illustrations depicting the strong women of Ireland past and present."

It includes photographs of women at work by photographer Beta Bajgartova, films about the women profiled, audio recordings and a Post-it poll for visitors to continue the conversation.

"Creating this collection made me mindful of ongoing gender stereotypes in our society, and the need to prevent them by educating our children," says Bajgartova.

"Every woman I included in this collection is a role model for my two daughters."

The director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Orla O'Connor, says: "Beta’s work disrupts the gender stereotypes and shows in a creative and exuberant style that women can achieve and strive in every part of life."

Constance Markievicz, leader in the Easter Rising and the first woman elected to Westminster, features in the exhibition | Image via @dublinmuseum on Twitter

In addition to photographs and illustrations, work by Bridget Hourican adds historical context.

She says: "What really interested me was how important both World Wars, but particularly the first, were in creating opportunities for women.

"For so many trades and professions - including bus driving, welding, firefighting, veterinary medicine, banking - even football - women got opportunities because men had been called to the front and someone had to do these jobs.

"So opportunity didn’t come about through equality legislation or human rights initiatives but through necessity created by catastrophe."