Thousands of people will gather in Belfast for this year’s International Women’s Day Rally on March 7 to celebrate women’s achievements and demand new equality legislation.
The rally will have its usual family-friendly, carnival atmosphere, with samba drummers, ukulele players, circus performers and participants in period Suffragette costumes as they march from Writer’s Square to Belfast City Hall to hear speeches from leading members of the women’s movement.
The theme of this year’s rally is ‘Rights in Sight’ and the organisers will use the speeches outside the City Hall to call for change.
“The International Women’s Day rally is an event to celebrate together but it’s also time for us to call for parity with our sisters in Great Britain and Ireland. Here in Northern Ireland we are using outdated laws and we call on the Assembly to bring us in line with the rest of the UK to use legislation that is relevant today,” said Danielle Roberts, co-chair of Reclaim the Agenda.
“We need Government to make new laws and to develop strategies on childcare and gender equality. We need them to implement legislation properly rather than looking for loopholes and massaging figures,” she added.
Northern Ireland has the worst incidence of domestic abuse in the UK, yet has no legislation tackling stalking, up-skirting and coercive control.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Daniel Baker, said: “I’m delighted to get alongside Reclaim the Agenda to raise awareness of the International Women’s Day rally which will take place on Saturday March 7 and to highlight the programme of events running in Belfast throughout the month. I would encourage everyone to come along, especially on March 7, as we celebrate women’s accomplishments and highlight what still needs to be achieved to create an equal society for all regardless of sex or gender in our city.”
For more information about this year’s International Women’s Day across Northern Ireland go to www.reclaimtheagenda.com