Women from all over Ireland in Belfast for International Women’s Day

One of the UK and Ireland’s largest International Women’s Day March and Rallies will take place in Belfast on Saturday, March 9.

This year’s theme for the month long celebration is ‘The Time is Now – Women Rise Up’ and among those taking part in the event is the Lord Mayor Councillor Deirdre Hargey and Councillor Aileen Graham, Deputy Chair of the council’s Women’s Steering Group.

Anne McVicker, chair of organisers, Reclaim the Agenda said the feminist movement in the north and on the rest of the island has never been so united in its determination for change.

She said: “We have seen women’s rights take centre stage in recent years and our voices are at last beginning to be heard. Thousands of members of women’s groups, lobby organisations, trade unions and youth groups are saying enough is enough and are demanding change now.”

The IWD programme in Northern Ireland is one of the largest and most varied on these islands with more than 50 events taking place throughout March, everything from political debate, stand-up comedy, street art, films, conferences on women’s health to lectures on subjects such as Women’s Imprisonment,  ‘Toxic Masculinity’ and the Magdalene Laundries.

This year’s rally will meet at Writer’s Square with music, dance, a feminist photo booth, activist stalls and face-painting before the parade heads off at 11.30am. Participants, in fancy dress, will carry brightly coloured placards demanding equality to the beat of samba drums.

The march will end in a mass rally at Belfast City Hall, where there will be speeches from representatives of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Alliance for Choice, Youth Action, Queen’s University and others.

Programme highlights include:

  • Humanism is process: Female Performance Artists at work, Writer’s Square on March 4
  • Toxic Masculinity: the Crisis of Masculinity at UU Belfast campus, March 5
  • Placard making workshop, the Oh Yeah Centre on March 6
  • Feminist Quiz Night, The Sunflower Bar, March 6
  • Sisters Inside: Why is Women’s Imprisonment a Feminist Issue? QUB, March 8
  • Menstrual Coach, Lúnasa café, March 9
  • Alternative Ms Ulster, 8th March, Stormont Buildings
  • Market for Choice, Sunflower Bar, Union Street, March 9
  • Women on Water, River Lagan, Big Fish

For more information about this year’s International Women’s Day across Northern Ireland go to the International Women’s Day Northern Ireland and Reclaim the Agenda Facebook pages.

The launch of International Women’s Day takes place on Tuesday, February 26 from 7-10pm in the Black Box, with comedy and music.

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