The 17th of January 2022 is the final date for entries to ActionTalks, a national speech writing competition run by ActionAid. ActionAid focuses on the human rights of the poorest and most marginalised women and children, so they can overcome the obstacles holding them back. Its’ Women’s Rights Programme, funded by Irish Aid, works to eliminate violence against women and girls through innovative community-led approaches.
This year entrants will get an additional opportunity to showcase their speeches, and to win a prize, with the introduction of regional finals. Five entrants from each region (Leinster, Munster, and Ulster/Connacht), 15 in total, will be selected for the regional finals. To take part in the regional final, the 15 finalists will be asked to submit a video of themselves reading their speech. Two winners from each region (six in total) will be selected to go forward to the national final in March and will receive a €50 One4All voucher each. The winner of the national will win a €500 One4All voucher for themselves and a €100 One4All voucher for their teacher.
The competition, now in its eighth year, aims to engage young people aged 14-17 with global issues, gender equality and sustainable development, and challenges them to use their voice to create positive change. This year the competition will focus on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on women’s rights and how we can create a more equal world post-pandemic. ActionAid is asking students to write a speech on one of three topics:
- The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of unpaid work in the home (e.g., childminding, caretaking, household functioning), with women often bearing the brunt of this work. How can we redistribute unpaid work in a way that is fair for everyone?
- During the Covid-19 pandemic, incidence of gender-based domestic violence rose, both in Ireland and internationally. What can Ireland do?
- Unfair access to vaccines has meant that those living in the poorest countries will suffer the worst effects of the pandemic. The inequalities exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of global solidarity and international aid. Discuss.
Karol Balfe, CEO of ActionAid Ireland said: ‘We are delighted to have already received some fantastic entries for the competition this year, as it is so important to hear from young people and to hear their views on these global issues. We encourage anyone in Dublin who is interested in taking part in the ActionTalks competition this year to send in their speech by Monday 17th January.”
To enter, students can ask their teacher for details or visit https://actionaid.ie/speech-writing-competition/ for more information.