Activists call March for International Women’s Day 2023

Feminists and anti-racist activists, political groups and community organisations, students & workers unions and many more will come together in Dublin to march and celebrate International Women’s Day. In the radical tradition of International Women’s Day, a day of international solidarity and struggle, we are marching to demand action and change.

Our demands have a new urgency with the rise of the far right who use violent misogyny, anti-abortion and transphobia as organising and recruitment tools, while attempting to utilise feminist-type arguments against gender-based violence to disguise their racism and hatred against migrants, asylum seekers and people of colour.

We march to highlight the upsurge in gender based violence, racism and transphobia; the backlash against feminism and abortion rights; and the abysmal government failure to address the desperate twin crises of housing and the cost of living, that every day is driving more and more people into absolute poverty and homelessness. We march in solidarity with women in struggle around the world; women from Iran and the United States to women in Latin America and the Ukraine.

The International Women’s Day march will take place on Wednesday 8th  March from the Spire at 5.30pm marching to the Dail. It is initiated by ROSA Socialist Feminist Movement and actively supported by groups including the National Women’s Council (NWC), Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Le Cheile, Akidwa, Action for Choice, Women’s Collective Ireland, Unite Construction, UCD Students Union, TransPride, TENI, Latina Women Against Violence, Youth Against Racism and Inequality, Trinity Students Union.

 March organiser, Ruth Coppinger of ROSA and chair of today’s press conference commented:

“International Women’s Day comes as key gains for women are under attack internationally. The 2010s saw a global feminist wave from #MeToo to Repeal that put gender based violence on the political agenda, won abortion rights and pushed forward on LGBT rights. The 2020s has brought a pandemic and multiple crises of inflation, climate and war which have hit working class and poor women hardest.

The far right are seeking to tap into alienation from these crises, and fears about violence against women, with dangerous myths about migrants when in fact 90% of people who experience sexual violence know their offenders. These agitators actually promote macho culture and transphobia. International Women’s Day is an important day globally to march in unison and say ‘we will not be divided or dragged backwards’. We march to demand emergency action from government, not platitudes, on gender violence and the housing crisis.”

Ivanna Youtchak, the National Women’s Council (NWC) Violence Against Women Coordinator commented:

“Violence against women is an epidemic in Ireland and globally. It is a critical issue for women, causing devastation to the lives of women, children and families.  It is important that on the International Day for Women’s rights that we call for an end to violence against women and for government to put in place the legislation and measures that create a society where women can live free from violence, abuse and harassment.”

Feminist activist Ailbhe Smyth (Action for Choice) called on feminists and activists across Dublin to remember the radical origins of the day and join the march:

“International Women’s Day is not a marketing slogan; it is a day deeply rooted in women’s struggles for a better and more just world for everyone.. While many dramatic and positive changes for women have been won in Ireland in recent years, our struggles still continue. There is urgent work to be done as we face a growing surge of gender based violence, racism, transphobia and the far right.

“Despite the triumph of the movement for Repeal there remains vital unfinished business around abortion. With at least 15 women per week still forced to travel for abortions there must be a urgency to our activism. The Government must immediately publish its long promised review of the operation of our abortion laws and urgently address the many deficiencies including the 3-day mandatory waiting period; the 12-week gestational limit and the narrow definition of fatal foetal anomaly that continues to deny care to so many women in desperate situations.”

Anne Waithira-Burke from Akidwa said:

“Firstly our sincere and strong word of thank you to the people of Ireland who showed us that the far right are indeed a small number of voices who are spreading hate and fear. Their propaganda doesn’t reflect the majority of the Irish people who truly embrace and believe in our nation’s motto ‘Céad míle fáilte’.

In recent months we have seen the terrifying face of the far right and the momentum they have gained in intimidating and creating the sense of divide. This has left migrants feeling anxious, where they are not willing to leave their rooms, let alone the centres. They feel isolated and rejected by the country they thought was their safe place and home.

It is imperative that International Women’s Day continues to be a time when we march and take to the streets with a strong message to promote unity and communality. Our fight for humanity outweighs discrimination and hostility that needs to be snuffed out of Irish society for good. “

Vivienne Glanville, the National Programme Coordinator of Women’s Collective Ireland called for positive change in advancing women’s rights:

“Through our work with grassroots women across the country, it is evident that while gender inequalities impact on all women, women experiencing disadvantage are impacted to a much larger extent. While the management of wealth falls mainly to men, the burden of managing poverty is usually carried by women and women are taking the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis. This is increasingly leaving grassroots women to live in unstable financial situations, leaving them vulnerable and this is negatively affecting their mental and physical health.

“Women Collective Ireland (WCI) want to bring attention to the issues that grassroots women have told us affect them. Grassroots women have identified food poverty, heat poverty, access to public infrastructure and the digital divide as key areas of concern. These daily difficulties mean women are living in real fear as they face the rise in costs and estimating the next bill. WCI want others to know our grassroots communities are diverse, inclusive and welcoming for our voices to be heard.”

Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich, Welfare Officer with UCD Students Union :

“Young people have grown up in a world where we still have to grapple with gender inequality, and fight for our rights, while also being told that that fight is a thing of the past. While we’ve seen progress in our lifetimes, there is still a gender pay gap, there are still restrictions on abortions, there are still women being made homeless and going without basic necessities, there are still women being killed. Students’ Unions have seen first-hand how the cost of living crisis has impacted young women, sexual violence, drink spiking and gender based violence have upended lives. We will be marching down streets that women don’t feel safe walking down at night.

“Whether it’s the cost of living crisis, spiking, transphobia, gender based violence, or injustices faced by women around the world, misogyny is present in all our lives. We need the government to act meaningfully on these issues. We will be out  marching on International Women’s Day because like those who came before us, young people believe the world can be better, but we know that we must make it better.”


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Nasha Gazeta

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