Women of the North West
was formally established as a formal development organisation in 1994.
It is a network of approximately 30 rural women's groups which work
for the betterment of all women. The organizational headquarters is
located in Moygownagh Community Centre, 13 miles northwest of Ballina,
County Mayo. Women of the North West covers a large mountainous rural
area with a low population density, with only one urban centre. This
issue based self-help community movement operates with the support
of the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs funding.
The management board consists of a voluntary management team of twelve
women who are drawn from the existing membership of the local parish
based women's groups.
The area covered by the network in North West Mayo has a population
of just over 35,000 people. There are approximately 8,800 women
in the constituency area. The education and training, lobbying and
social and economic analysis activity of Women of the North West
is open to all of these women.
and underemployed women and men.
active in the community. Management teams of women's groups.
and Economic Policy makers and planners.
Professionals at a Regional and National level.
Regional and National politicians.
Profile of Network Membership
Member groups of Women of the North West are for the most part
voluntary groups. The number in each group ranges from 15 women
to 25 women. Approximately 400 women are indirectly involved in
the work of Women of the North West. Many groups are relatively
recent in origin with half of the groups being established in the
last five years. Only three groups employ staff. One group employs
two full-time staff members and two groups employ Community Employment
Groups are involved in the following range of activities:
with Older People.
The personal development and adult education activity of the groups
receives funding from the Department of Social, Community and Family
affairs through the mechanism of small grant aid. Groups who are
engaged in work with the elderly and women's health issues are in
receipt of funding from the Western Health Board. In some instances
community development work is funded through the local partnership
bodies. (Kelleher & Kelleher, 2000)