Abortion Rights Campaign Values and Inclusivity Statement

Inclusivity

ARC aspires to be inclusive and representative of the varied groups of people affected by Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws. We believe this requires a particular focus on those groups that are disproportionately affected by these laws including women who are marginalised by poverty, racism, immigration status and disability. However we acknowledge the significant structural barriers at a societal and organisational level which prevent marginalised groups participation and involvement in ARC. As a result ARC commits to actively address these barriers so as to support the meaningful involvement of people from all socio economic backgrounds, minority ethnic groups or cultures, including Travellers and Roma, people of colour, the LGBTQI community, sex workers and people with disabilities. ARC aims not only to be inclusive within our organisation but also in how we work with others. We aim to work in solidarity with other groups who are experiencing oppression and develop meaningful partnerships to advance our collective struggles across social justice movements in Ireland and internationally.

Inclusivity Principles
  • We strive to make our meetings and events friendly, safe and welcoming whilst acknowledging barriers to participation and actively working to address them.

  • We work to avoid tokenism in our engagement with minority representative groups. This means that we aim to have dialogue and relationships behind our diversity of speakers, stories and images.

  • We seek to have reciprocal relationships with individuals, spokespeople and representative organisations, providing opportunities for people to speak for themselves and the groups they represent. This means we will engage with other organisations events and actions and seek to engage other representatives and organisations in our events and actions.

  • We are aware of how language and jargon can be a barrier to engagement and we aim to reduce these barriers as much as possible.

  • We are open to feedback on how to make our ways of working more inclusive.

Action Plan

Meetings and organisational issues

  • We will be aware of tokenism and that many community activists can be overburdened with requests to participate in other political actions. We will ensure that there is a range of ways in which people can be involved in our actions and process that suit individuals and organisations.

  • Our values statement and principles will be displayed at meetings and other events as appropriate.

  • We will avoid jargon and use everyday language in meetings and all public events. We will explain acronyms and more challenging terminology. If the use of technical terms is necessary we also state what it means in standard everyday language, i.e. when we use the term bodily autonomy, we state – being in charge of what happens to our bodies. If one of our colleagues forgets, we empower each other to briefly to recap or interject (as appropriate) in order to do this.

  • We will hold meetings at different times and locations to facilitate the participation of people from a wide variety of life situations.

  • We will organise a series of training so we can develop more inclusive ways of working; facilitation training, anti-racism training

  • All new members should become familiar with ARC’s values, inclusivity principles and action plan and understand what these values and principles mean in practice.

  • We will review our progress in relation to our action plan at our AGM.

Outreach, partnership and engagement of community and voluntary groups that represent minority groups
  • In each working group, we endeavour to use a proportion of our time and resources in actively engaging groups or individuals that are not represented by majority of our members. This happens as a natural part of the planning and review stage of each project or event. This can be done in two ways by each working group:

    • The groups will ask – have we dedicated our time and resources to proactively engaging with minority and underrepresented groups.

    • The group will ask – have we taken reasonable actions to sufficiently include and welcome minority and underrepresented groups, into this process, event etc.

The use of images and stories
  • We aim to use a diversity of images and stories, which have been sourced through real and genuine engagement with members of these groups in order to show the following:

    • The range of women and men affected by Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws, considering particularly: ethnicity, age, rural and city divide, socio-economic status, disability

    • The fact that minority groups are disproportionately affected by these laws

    • The range of supporters of our message

    • That our movement actively welcomes a diversity of people and experiences

  • The website will be reviewed to ensure, as far possible, it is genuinely reflective of our values.

  • We will aim to provide opportunities for a variety and diversity of speakers and experiences. To ensure that speakers are themselves inclusive, we will provide them with our values statement. We will also have information on our website to inform people that we aim to include a range of speakers and that we cannot endorse all speakers’ views and political alliances.

New Members
  • We actively engage new members, by personally welcoming them into meeting and by following up with them to ensure they know how they can be involved if they would like to continue.

  • We will survey new membership each quarterly to check that they feel welcomed and included and will adapt our processes as required based on feedback.

  • We will identify and actively address barriers to membership and meaningful participation by women marginalised by poverty, racism, immigration status and disability.

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