TODAY MARKS INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day, which has been celebrated by the United Nations since 1975.
The United Nations says International Women’s Day “is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities”.
This year’s theme is: Equality for women is progress for all.
The emphasise on today’s celebrations is how gender equality, empowerment of women, women’s full enjoyment of human rights is a vital role of women as agents of development.
There are an array of events taking place internationally. In Dublin, a protest will take place at 1pm outside the Central Bank to support a woman’s right to choose, end violence against women and stop austerity.
The protest is organised by Reproductive rights, against Opression, Sexism and Austerity (ROSA), the Abortion Rights Campaign, Irish Feminist Network, Union of Students in Ireland, Action for Choice, Real-Productive Health and DCU SU .
Other groups and individuals campaigning for women’s rights and equality are welcome to get involved.
The National Women’s Council of Ireland are also organising a soapbox in Dublin, where they said they hope to replicate the “fire and passion” of the early feminists and their political campaigning for equality.
The Soapbox, which will be situated in a Marque outside the GPO from 12pm to 4pm. Women are encouraged to come along and get involved, while the NWCI will also live tweet what women are saying under #NWCISoapBox.
In the evening, there is a night of music and spoken word taking place in Liberty Hall, to celebrate the naming of the Rosie Hackett Bridge.
Writer and actor Tara Flynn will MC the event which features music from jazz band Zrazy; songs from the incomparable Rita Fagan; poetry and prose from Enda Wyley, Catherine Anne Cullen, Kitty Holland, Justine McCarthy, Rachel Hegarty, Mary Russell and many more. The night kicks off at 7.30pm.
However, it’s not just in Dublin where events will be taking place.
In Kilkenny, a balloon ceremony will take place at Lady Sesart Bridge at 1.30pm where balloons will be released carrying messages of hope.
There will also be a candle lighting ceremony outside the town hall at 2pm, where women from different communities will say a few words in their own language.
In Waterford, a concert by piano and cello players Rachel Quinn and Annette Cleary will perform in Christ Church Cathedral at 8pm, while in Derry, there will be a celebration of the music of women in Irish folk and traditional music will take place in Culturlann Ui Chanain.
What events are happening where you are? Tell us in the comments section below.