International Women’s Day celebrates centenary of Suffragette struggle for rights

By February 26, 2013News, Newsroom

Women from across Northern Ireland will pay tribute to the rights that were hard won by the suffragettes during this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations.

Events are happening throughout the month with a focus on the International Women’s Day Rally on 8th March in which hundreds of people will walk from the Art College to Belfast City Hall to commemorate the achievements of women throughout the world.

“In a series of workshops, women have been discussing suffrage and making rosettes and sashes and we expect a number of the women to dress as suffragettes for the rally,” explained event organiser Anne McVicker from WOMEN’STEC.

Dr Margaret Ward, who is giving a talk on the campaign for women’s suffrage at Belfast City Hall on 26th February, explained that 100 years ago the suffragettes began militant action in support of their demand for the vote.

“The campaign challenged both unionist and nationalist politicians as women fought for their right to citizenship, filling the Grand Opera House and the Ulster Hall with supporters and controversially attacking property and serving prison sentences in Crumlin Road Gaol,” she said.

This year’s International Women’s Day events recognises the struggle for equality of women from all cultures.

Highlights include:

  • Rally from the Art College to City Hall. 8th March starting at noon.
  • HERitage Bus Tours celebrating Belfast women. The two-hour tour runs March 9, 15, 18 and 23. Booking is essential.
  • Reclaim the Streets project – on 8th March a Blue plaque will be unveiled for Isabella Tod on Botanic Avenue and a number of streets and buildings will be renamed for the month.
  • Talk by Dr Myrtle Hill and Dr Margaret Ward on women’s suffrage 26 Feb 7.15pm followed by a roundtable discussion on suffrage on 5th March at the Ulster Hall 10am chaired by Fionola Meredith, lunch included.
  • A celebration of the centenary of Belfast Suffrage Movement by the Elderflowers at the Crescent Arts Centre 22nd March 4.30-6.30pm.
  • “Shakespeare’s Sisters” –  theatrical vignettes and musical pieces fromthe underexplored point of view of Shakespeare’s most memorable women. Presented by Fickle Favors at the Black Box 28th and 29th March.
  • Roundtable discussion on UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace and Security with the Centre for Cross Border Studies, Hanna’s House and the Transitional Justice Institute to be held on 27th March at the office of the North South Ministerial Council in Armagh.


For more information on International Women’s Day events contact WOMEN’STEC on 02890749810.