The Women’s podcast: Mercy me! Mercy School Inchicore students take over

Lively discussion, drama, music and poetry abound as a group of girls from the Dublin 8 secondary school get behind the mic

Mercy Secondary School’s finest:  “A lot of people say it doesn’t matter what area you’re from, if you have the ambition you’ll get there. But those statistics clearly show that it does matter.”

Mercy Secondary School’s finest: “A lot of people say it doesn’t matter what area you’re from, if you have the ambition you’ll get there. But those statistics clearly show that it does matter.”

 

What happens when you let a group of secondary school students loose behind the mic for a takeover of The Women’s Podcast?

Passionate and informed discussions about diversity, discrimination, the Leaving Cert Applied and feminism.

“You can’t be a feminist if you don’t care about disabled women, women of colour, migrant women, across all intersections,” says Nicole Stephens, a Leaving Cert student at Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore in Dublin 8.

“All these tops that come out of H&M and Pennys that have ‘girl power’ and all that on them. I don’t think people realise that they are made by underpaid women in factories in the developing world.”

Katie Browne is in fifth year at the school. She agrees with Nicole and says feminism isn’t just about women either.

“The real feminism is equality of both sexes and equality across the board for everybody, whether you’re gay, straight, black or white, it doesn’t matter.”

The low college progression rate for students from their part of Dublin compared to more affluent areas in the city – for Dublin 8 it’s 28 per cent and for Dublin 6 it’s over 90 per cent – gets the girls exercised too.

“A lot of people say it doesn’t matter what area you’re from, if you have the ambition you’ll get there. But those statistics clearly show that it does matter,” says Katie.

On the day the podcast was recorded the girls Leaving Cert Applied (LCA) classmates could not take part because they were already doing tasks related to their final marks. Sophie Fahy spoke on their behalf and pointed to some of the discrimination that LCA students face.

“Some people say it’s for misbehaving students or people that are stupid but it’s really not. It’s just people who have learning difficulties or a different way of learning. There’s a stigma everywhere that they’re stupid or they can’t go to university, they can’t do this, they can’t do that. I just don’t think it’s right,” she says.

Also on the podcast, the Mercy students talk about why more girls need to go the route of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), racism and diversity, and the discrimination associated with coming from a disadvantaged area.

There are also performances throughout the episode, with music from Danica Alfaro, Kym Fallon and Stacey Torres, poetry from Saoirse Doona and Sophie Fahy and a group drama.

Subscribe to the twice-weekly Women’s Podcast here:

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