Feminists back Arquette ahead of Women’s Day

Mairead Carter, Helen Crickard, Mary McSorley, Bernie Kelly, Maire Hendron, Emma Campbell, Anne McVicker, Kellie O'Dowd and Heather Horner at the launch of International Women's Day at Belfast City Hall
Mairead Carter, Helen Crickard, Mary McSorley, Bernie Kelly, Maire Hendron, Emma Campbell, Anne McVicker, Kellie O'Dowd and Heather Horner at the launch of International Women's Day at Belfast City Hall

Ulster feminists have been praising Oscar winning actress Patricia Arquette’s rallying cry for equal pay for women at the Oscars Ceremony in Los Angeles earlier this week.

Multi-award winning actress Meryl Streep yelled her approval at the glittering ceremony as Arquette who took Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood and declared: ‘It’s our time to have wage equality.’ Local women met to launch International Women’s Day - to take place on March 8 - at Belfast City Hall with one of the organisers affirming that the Hollywood actress’s message was a timely reminder that women are still fighting for equality.

Anne McVicker, director of the Women’s Research and Development Agency (WRDA) said: “It is significant that powerful and successful women like Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep still feel the need to draw attention to the issue of the gender pay gap. Sexual discrimination exists in every strata of society and every country on earth and International Women’s Day seeks to highlight the continuing struggle for equality while also celebrating the great achievements of women.”

This year’s International Women’s Day celebration is the largest ever, with more than 50 events taking place across Northern Ireland throughout March.

One highlight will be the annual IWD March and Rally from Writer’s Square to Belfast City Hall on March 7, with a range of speakers including Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon addressing the crowd.

This year’s theme is ‘No Peace Without Women’, which will be the topic of a discussion at Ulster Hall on March 2 featuring female MLAs and activists from the main parties.

LGBT feminist activist Grace Petrie will be singing her anti-establishment anthems ‘Farewell to Welfare’ and’ Emily Davison Blues’ on March 5 in the Hudson Bar.

The fight for women’s suffrage a century ago is another theme with a lecture on Sylvia Pankhurst at the Ulster Hall on March 6. A film about tNorthern Ireland feminist and human rights activist Inez McCormack will be shown at Footprints Women’s Centre, Dunmurry on March 3.

For more information contact Helen Crickard on helen@womensinfoni.com or call 02890 380 194. A full list of events is found at www.internationalwomensday.com/.