Successful International Women’s Day Celebration in Cork


The Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM) in Cork was delighted by the success of the Douglas Street Community Celebration of International Women’s Day on Monday, 8th March.  The day comprised of fifty free, open events involving poetry, music, workshops, speakers, fortune tellers, performance art, a community dinner, knitting club, films, a community art exhibition and much more. The celebration ran from 10am to midnight at Solidarity Books and many other venues on and around Douglas Street.

This event was organised and hosted by the Douglas Street Community, of which Solidarity Books is an integral part. The enthusiasm and support of all the local organisations, businesses and neighbours was the driving force behind the incredibly successful celebration. It was deeply gratifying to witness the local community working together with such enthusiasm to celebrate, showcase, educate and empower women and to begin to build a strong, united community. 

Cork WSM’s own interest in International Women’s Day was of course first and foremost political: we wanted to highlight the continued need for full reproductive rights for women in Ireland while celebrating the contribution of women workers and activists throughout history whose struggles have resulted in more equitable working conditions for today’s women. We also wanted to highlight some of the current issues that Irish women activists are so passionately involved in: Deirdre Clancy, Pitstop Ploughshares, spoke about her experience disarming an American war plane in Shannon and the aftermath; Maura Harrington, Shell to Sea Activist, spoke to a packed house about the recent events surrounding Pat O Donnell's jailing and answered questions; Kate and Caroline, Cork to Gaza Convoy, told of their experiences being part of an international aid convoy to Gaza; Sandra McAvoy spoke about the continuing struggle for full reproductive rights for Irish women and Anne McShane, Hands Off the People of Iran, spoke about the current situation for women in Iran. 

As well as our political workshops, we hosted a range of workshops and helped prepare the free community dinner which was happily devoured by 150 participants. We were immensely satisfied at the tremendous diversity of activities, which were hosted by the many other participating venues on and around Douglas Street.  This truly was grassroots organising in action.

WORDS: Nicola Morry