Women’s Strike rally planned for Derry city centre

The International Women's Strike will take place on March 8.
The International Women's Strike will take place on March 8.

People from across the north west have been urged to take part in an international strike over human rights issues taking place next week.

The local event for the International Women’s Strike will take place at Guildhall Square on Wednesday, March 8 at 1pm.

Mirenda Rosenberg will speak at the event.

Mirenda Rosenberg will speak at the event.

Confirmed speakers include musician Mirenda Rosenberg, who is developing a new campaign to promote young women appreciating their value.

Mardi Kennedy, Health and Wellbeing Officer for The Rainbow Project, will also be speaking at the event, along with political activist Becca Bor and artist and rights campaigner Mel Bradley.

The International Women’s Strike follows on from a day of global action regarding violence against women back in November.

The movementat the time called on governments to take real measures to addressed physical, economic, verbal and moral abuse directed at women.

It also called for establishment of severe legal penalties in cases of rape, domestic violence and all gender-based crimes, as well as free access to medical care, including abortion.

The global strike was threatened at the time if governments failed to address the issues.

Speaking ahead of the local event, Mel Bradley said women will be gathering in over 40 countries across the world on March 8. Across Ireland there will be rallies in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Belfast.

As well as calling for reproductive autonomy and action to tackle violence, the Derry event will be focusing on social issues relevant to the city and region, including the impact of austerity and benefit cuts.

Speaking about the Derry event, Mel said: “This is a grass roots movement organised by women on the ground.

“ Locally we are at the top in terms of economic inactivity here and we have the highest rates of disability.

“When you look at this, it has a knock on effect on issues like domestic violence, and when you look at the choice element, for women who have to go to the mainland for abortion, they can’t pay for it. Poverty has a massive impact.”

Mel said that that women were also gathering across the world in solidarity with those who are can’t make a public declaration in their own countries.

“The fact that we have got so many women across borders, across language barriers, joining together means this will be a a massive moment in history,” she said, adding:

“We are going to do this, and we would urge anyone who can to come along and make some noise. I am hoping we get a good response on March 8.”