Northern Ireland news

Reclaim the Night rally to take place in Belfast tomorrow night

Women in Northern Ireland will take to the streets of Belfast tomorrow night for the `Reclaim The Night' rally, which will call for an end to gender-based violence
Marie Louise McConville

WOMEN will take to the streets of Belfast this weekend to demand an end to gender-based violence.

This year, the Reclaim the Night rally will take the form of a static, outdoor event at Writer's Square tomorrow night, rather than a march through the city.

Reclaim the Night began on the streets of Leeds in 1977 as a protest against the West Yorkshire police's advice to women to stay at home at night in response to 13 murders carried out by the Yorkshire Ripper.

Key speakers at tomorrow night's rally include Dr Manal Mahadi Hassan, a Sudanese doctor and human rights activist, Ellen Fearon, NUS-USI President and climate action activist, and Alexa Moore, a trans rights activist.

It is one of a series of events taking place during the 30th anniversary of the Global 16 Days Campaign from November 25 to December 10.

Organiser Danielle Robert said the gathering was an "opportunity to raise our collective voice against street harassment and gender-based violence, and to show solidarity with victims and survivors".

"Violence against women didn't stop during the pandemic, indeed for many in abusive relationships and family situations it was exacerbated by it," she said.

"We are also hearing cases of spiking on nights out and a rise of transphobic hate crime."

Fellow organiser, Elaine Crory said: "Women are still facing the same fears of being murdered, raped, sexually abused and harassed on the streets.

"We will continue to protest until the threat of gender-based violence is removed from society," she said.

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Northern Ireland news