The Belfast Women’s Collective emerged from the Socialist Women’s Group (1975-77) in 1977. The Socialist Women’s Group had been formed after disputes arose with the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement (NIWRM) over the national question and seeking trade union support.
The Belfast Women’s Collective sought to maintain links both to wider feminist issues and Republicanism, but found itself criticised by both the NIWRM and the more explicitly Republican Women Against Imperialism (WAI).
Because we regarded ourselves in opposition to the British we were labelled as republican by those women’s groups who didn’t actively oppose it [the NIWRM] at the same time because we were highly critical of the Republican Movement we were labelled as a bourgeois women’s group by that section of the movement [WAI], we couldn’t win either way. Belfast Women’s Collective, 1980, cited in Christina Loughran, 1986.