Southwest Kerry Women’s Association, also
known as SKWA, is a network of locally based women’s
groups in the Southwest Kerry Area covering Kells to Sneem.
SKWA was founded in 1993 as a result of self development
courses for women which were introduced by South Kerry Development
Partnership, Kerry Education Service and St Vincent De Paul
for Women in South Kerry .
The company has a Voluntary Management Committee who are
also the Directors of the company. The Board of five Directors
oversees all the actions of the Association. SKWA also employs a full-time co-ordinator, part-time development worker and part-time administrator.
Under the Horizon project, 12 women did leadership training
and applied to the Combat Poverty Agency for funding
for a seminar held in October 1993. 120 women attended the seminar, and from this a report
was written A Vision of Southwest Kerry. We
then to the Department of Social Community
and Family Affairs for core funding for the network and
were allocated £4,000 in December 1994. We formed a
limited company in March 1995.
We applied to the Dept. of Enterprise and Employment for
funding under the New Opportunities for Women project and
were successful in obtaining funding of £175,000 over
two years from 1995-1997. This was a very successful
project and we worked closely with our three transnational
partners, Germany, Austria and Sweden. In addition we worked
with University College Cork, FÁS, Kerry Education
Service and South Kerry Development Partnership. As part of the NOW project, 14
women received diplomas in Women in the Community,
awarded by University College Cork in July 1996.
In 1997, we applied for funding under the Women’s Education
Initiative in 1997 and were successful in obtaining £55,000
over two years: 1998-2000.
From April 2003-2006 we ran a project under the Equality for Women Initiative entitled Learning for Living This was funded
by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and was aimed at older women in the community,
who may have lost out on education for one reason or another.
A further project under the Equality for Women Initiative - Opening Doors to Education ran in 2007-2008 and reached out to local women who wanted to return to education and training and progress beyond Junior/Intermediate Certificate level. The project also tried to empower women to engage in the decision making processes that affect their lives, and offered professional training (Fetac Accredited) to trainers.
Our mission statement is...
"...to promote the social, educational and personal development of women in the general geographic area between Kells and Sneem in southwest Kerry"
- that all women are entitled to be treated equally and with dignity
- that all women are entitled to equal opportunities
- that all women are entitled to a good quality of life
- that there should be no discrimination
- that we have an instrumental role to play in affecting women's lives
- in the principles of community development
What we aim to do...
- Enable women to be actively involved in their
- Encourage/support women to participate in the
decision making process which effect their lives, by encouraging
women to be more confident and be a voice for change.
- Identify and meet the needs of Rural Women.
- Develop a supportive management structure which
is representative and reflective of the needs of women.
How we do it...
- Deliver a program of work based on women’s
- Promote and support women’s involvement
in community life.
- Create awareness of women’s human rights.
- Continue to manage the organisation in a professional
Directors of SKWA
| Ms Bernadette Kennedy
| Ms Angela Hallissey
| Ms Breeda Brennan
| Ms Ann O’Keefe
|| Assistant Treasurer
| Ms Irene Wharton
SKWA is affiliated to a variety of networks including the
• National Women’s Council of Ireland
• National Collective of Community based Women’s Networks
• Open Door Network Tralee (Kerry’s Response
to Violence Against Women)
• C.D.P. Regional Forum, which is part of the National
Community Development Programme Advisory Committee