Years Active:19771980
  Documents in Archive:1
  Publications:Women's Action
  Precursor:Socialist Women's Group
  Other Related Organisation: Women Against Imperialism
Timeline:View in the timeline of the Irish left
Discuss:Comments on this organisation


The Belfast Women’s Collective emerged from the Socialist Women’s Group (1975-77) in 1977. The Socialist Women’s Group had been formed after disputes arose with the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement (NIWRM) over the national question and seeking trade union support.

The Belfast Women’s Collective sought to maintain links both to wider feminist issues and Republicanism, but found itself criticised by both the NIWRM and the more explicitly Republican Women Against Imperialism (WAI).

Because we regarded ourselves in opposition to the British we were labelled as republican by those women’s groups who didn’t actively oppose it [the NIWRM] at the same time because we were highly critical of the Republican Movement we were labelled as a bourgeois women’s group by that section of the movement [WAI], we couldn’t win either way. Belfast Women’s Collective, 1980, cited in Christina Loughran, 1986.




Show: By publication | Chronological list


A list of known publications from Belfast Women's Collective, including those not represented in the Irish Left Archive collection.

Scarlet Women19801982 [Irregular]Belfast Women's Collective
Women's Action19761979Socialist Women's Group, Belfast Women's Collective

Comments 2

  • AonRud

    Belfast Women's Collective and Women Against Imperialism

    By: AonRud | 19th November 2013, 5:02pm

    There's an article from Women's Voice here  that notes a split between the Belfast Women's Collective and Women Against Imperialism that seems to be along the common division between focusing on feminist rather than class concerns.

    From the article:

    We are working class people and we know what we are talking about. Womens Groups before tended to work around purely women’s issues – contraception, abortion, nurseries – and they were in middle class areas and mostly from middle class backgrounds. They would have been hostile if we were campaigning around those women’s issues only and they’re thinking ‘Christ, my son’s inside, my husband’s inside, the Brits are raiding my home, my kids are being lifted and beaten up and it’s a question of I’ve got to survive.’ Obviously we campaign for abortion and contraception, but the first and foremost struggle is against the British; thats how we see it.

    (That site has a number of other articles from Women's Voice as well).

    Reply to this comment

Add a Comment

Formatting Help

Comments can be formatted in Markdown format . Use the toolbar to apply the correct syntax to your comment. The basic formats are:

**Bold text**
Bold text

_Italic text_
Italic text

[A link](
A link