Northern Ireland

International Women’s Day: Peace campaigners from Northern Ireland, Gaza and Afghanistan to take part in Belfast rally

The International Women's Day rally will take place in Belfast on Saturday
The International Women's Day rally will take place in Belfast on Saturday

Peace campaigners from Northern Ireland, Gaza and Afghanistan will be among the speakers at an International Women’s Day rally in Belfast this weekend.

This year’s theme is ‘peace and courage’ with a number of peace activists including Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire set to address the crowd outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday.

Afghan Artist Alina Gawhsry and Gazan psychologist Rana Al-Hajouj will also speak at the rally to call for a peaceful resolution to conflict throughout the world.

Marchers and supporters will gather at Writer’s Square at 11am, heading along Royal Avenue to the beat of samba drums for speeches at Belfast City Hall at 12.30pm.

A celebration event including food, music and dancing will be held afterwards at 2 Royal Avenue.

Organisers of the event hope that people will gather to “stand in solidarity with the thousands of women affected by ongoing violence and war in their homelands”.

A special meeting of Belfast City Council will take place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday.
Participants will walk to Belfast City Hall on Saturday

Northern Ireland women’s rights activist Avila Kilmurray and Sarah Griffins, known as Wheelie momma – an activist and blogger who writes about being a parent who uses a wheelchair, will also take part in the rally.

There will also be a tribute to the late Nora Greer, from the all-woman samba band Chidambaram, who had been an active participant of International Women’s Day in Northern Ireland for many years.

Helen Crickard from Reclaim the Agenda, which has organised the march and rally, said: “We chose the theme of peace and courage because of the global situation in Gaza, Yemen, Syrian, Ethiopia and so many other places.

“The women of Northern Ireland have felt the impact of war and the devastation of so many lives lost.

“We know that it takes courage to call for peace but it’s only when there is a ceasefire that we can start rebuilding.

“Women across the world face terrible human rights abuses, poverty and torment through wars that are not of their making.

“We are calling for a world where conflict is resolved through dialogue and women are safe to reach their potential, have equal access to power and play an active role in society.

“For all this to happen we must have peace and justice.”