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Ambassador Anne Anderson at Nollaig na mBan 2017
Taking Stock of Gender Equality
on Nollaig na mBan
Keynote speaker and honoree Ambassador Anderson seamlessly blended the personal with the professional in her passionate Nollaig na mBan address on January 6, 2017 at the University Club of Washington, DC. Using the occasion of Nollaig na mBan—Women’s Christmas—to perform a gender audit, Ambassador Anderson paid tribute to the generations of Irish women who toiled as immigrants to make a better future for their children and examined the status of women today. With her own retirement on the horizon, Ambassador Anderson also used the occasion to take stock of the challenges and triumphs she experienced as a woman in the Irish diplomatic corps.

In honor of the Ambassador’s love for poetry and tireless work on immigration reform in the United States, The Irish American Partnership, in conjunction with Poetry Ireland, has established a new poetry program for Irish schoolchildren in the Ambassador’s name. This exciting new initiative will send seasoned poets to rural schools to lead workshops on poems about emigration and the diaspora. Participating students will be able to present their final work at a yearly showcase held at Poetry Ireland’s headquarters in Dublin. This program serves both as a tribute to the Ambassador’s esteemed career and to her own Nollaig na mBan memories with her mother, from whom the Ambassador inherited her love for poetry.

While the Ambassador reminded us of all there is to celebrate on this Nollaig na mBan—the strong women in our lives, the progress that has been made towards gender equality, and the personal accomplishments this year brought—she cautioned us all to never forget the women who, like the generations of women before us, struggle under violence, famine, and oppression, and who need our solidarity this Nollaig na mBan.

Read Ambassador Anderson’s full remarks here.

Please view our Facebook page for the complete photo album of the event
Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Ambassador Anne Anderson, Partnership CEO Mary Sugrue, Breakfast Committee Chair Monique Choiniere
Top row L-R: Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Ambassador Anne Anderson, Partnership CEO Mary Sugrue, Breakfast Committee Chair Monique Choiniere
Breakfast sponsor Bridget O'Brien and her daughter Abigail with Ambassador Anderson
Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives Reverend Patrick Conroy, S.J. offers the benediction 
Former Nollaig na mBan keynote speaker Ambassador Melanne Verveer introducing Ambassador Anderson
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