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InIternational Women's Day - Why we celebrate on March 8th

category international | gender and sexuality | news report author Friday March 06, 2009 10:59author by Aileen O’Carroll - WSM (WS 107) Report this post to the editors

There are a few ways in which International Women's Day can be approached. It can be ignored. This is what mostly happens in the mainstream media. Unlike Valentines Day and Mothers Day, cards aren't given and presents aren't bought. With no profit to be made out of it, the day is not exactly one that jumps out and grabs the attention.


International Women's Day is an expressly political day. In 1907 women sweatshop workers marched in New York and thus the first International Women's day was born. Often when women are celebrated it is because they are either cute (Valentine's Day) or caring (Mothers' Day).

There is nothing wrong with being cute or caring, but on Internationals Women's day we get to highlight those of us who are politically active, those who are fighting for a better world, those who know that there can be a better world. I don't know their names but I know I have linked arms with women at Shannon Airport protesting against the war. I've stood in front of bin lorries with women from the estate I live on. I have met women as we marched, leafleted, picketed and posters for the right to have an abortion on Irish soil.

There are many many ways in which life is difficult for women in Ireland, from our pay packets, to the fact that we get little support if we decide to have children and no support if we decide not to have children. We have to wait weeks (and sometimes months) for something as simple as the result of our smear tests. Like men we live in a country which can't provide housing, medical services, and security, basic human needs for all citizens. Yes there is a lot to be angry about and a lot to change.

Thankfully, many of us, like those women who marched in the cold 102 years ago, are not willing to make do with what we have been offered. International Women's day is a celebration of those women who make things better.

Related Link:
author by Helen - Choice Irelandpublication date Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:12Report this post to the editors

Nice one Aileen.

Anyone in Dublin who wants to mark IWD should come to the Feminist Walking Tour this Sunday (, organised by RAG, Choice Ireland and LashBack.

For a report of last years FWT on International Women's Day, see

author by David Cummings - G.B. Labour Party memberpublication date Thu Feb 27, 2014 02:37Report this post to the editors

Each time the 8th of March comes around, I as a man recognise the endeavour of named women in history and the unnamed women who have done as much as the named.

Regrettably in the society we live in, women who have the courage, carry on the quest for real equality... so as a man I salute you.

To the women who know their political status...I say this to you....Stand up and stand Proud on March 8th, and Remember your sisters who started you path of emancipation, and smile on International Women's Day!

author by Fredpublication date Thu Feb 27, 2014 07:54Report this post to the editors

Great stuff.

Now how about some solidarity for woman, such as Margaretta D'arcy languishing in mount joy for democratically protesting the US war presence in Shannon.
Or rossport protesters routinely jailed or bullied and threatened with rape by gardai
if you don't stand side by side with women in genuine need of solidarity when persecuted by the state then what good is such an impotent so called women's movement?

author by Ruapublication date Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:45Report this post to the editors

Womens rights still has a long way to go - when a woman gets interviewed or considered for employment the fact she may or may not have children or plan to have a family is considered,and more often than not she is cast aside for her male counterpart,that has been the case for a few women i know of that have suspected to be the case but could never prove it conclusively.

Usually you will find a woman in her critical years will never be taken on in employment.And i wondered was this true,exagerrated,or what?

So I had done some research into this online and came across various articles that say never employ an ovulating woman!!!!! This is the sort of attitude that is still around and allowed to flourish.

author by womynpublication date Mon Mar 03, 2014 00:57Report this post to the editors

what about a woman with cancer put in prison merely for protesting?

or a woman kicked in her ovaries by shell's garda?

Or a woman previously pardoned by the queen then imprisoned without charge (marion price)

Any solidarity for these brave women?

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