Historical records

Hilda Tweedy Papers (Irish Housewives Association)

The Irish Housewives Association (IHA) was formed in 1942, with the objective of gaining recognition for the right of housewives to play an active part in all spheres of planning for the community.

Among the organisation’s first concerns was the fair distribution of goods at a fair price to both producer and consumer and the provision of nutritious food for children. The IHA was instrumental in setting up the Irish Consumers’ Association in 1966. The organisation lobbied and campaigned on issues such as social welfare provision, public health, education and the law, particularly family law.

Following the incorporation of the Irish Women Citizens’ Organisation into the IHA in 1947, the IHA became affiliated to the International Alliance of Women in 1948, which involved them in issues such as reproductive rights. A magazine, The Irish Housewife, later The Housewife’s Voice, was published from 1946 to 1980. The IHA was involved with many other women’s organisations and relevant bodies, including the United Nations, the Council for the Status of Women (Dr. Tweedy was its first chairperson), and the Women’s Representative Council.
Evidence of these activities is amply reflected in the records.

The organisation had a powerful impact on the visibility of, and achievement increased rights and status by, women in twentieth century Ireland. Dr. Hilda Tweedy had been custodian of these valuable records for many years. She was viewed as a proper guardian for them due to her status as a founder member, and a lifetime member, of the IHA. Some records of the Association came to her as a result of an appeal made to the members in December
1988, and another was launched in the press in early 1992 when Dr Tweedy was preparing to write the history of the Association, A Link in the Chain (Dublin, 1992).

For more information on this collection see the finding aid to the Hilda Tweedy Papers.

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