Nicola Depuis

28th Feb 2014

International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8th. Since 1911, it has gained momentum as a celebration of the achievements of women around the world as well as drawing our attention to the injustices and abuses still facing women on a daily basis. Here, Nicola Depuis, author of ‘Mna na Heireann – The Women Who Shaped Ireland’, gives a brief run-down of events happening across Cork city and county for International Women’s Day.

Celebrate Women’s Contributions to the Work Force

From Monday 3rd – 14th March, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) exhibition ‘Still, We Work’ curated by Valerie Connor, will be on display in the Atrium, Cork City Hall. Reflecting on contemporary representations of women’s work in the context of the centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, four artists – Miriam O’ Connor, Sarah Browne, Anne Tallentire, and Vagabond Reviews – have responded by creating new works addressing women’s experience of precarious contemporary working conditions and the invisibility of much of ‘women’s work’.

Discuss Reproductive Rights

The Cork Women’s Right to Choose Group in conjunction with the Crawford Film Society will host a screening event night on Wednesday, March 5th, in the Crawford College of Art & Design from 6pm to 9pm. First up will be a screening of the controversial documentary, ‘50,000 Secret Journey’s’, which was commissioned by RTE in 1994 but was pulled the day before it was due to be transmitted in March 1994 by RTE management who deemed it ‘unbalanced’. The documentary features three Irish women speaking openly about their personal experiences of abortion. This will be followed by a screening of the 1996 HBO film ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ starring Cher, Sissy Spacek and Demi Moore, which examines the abortion issue through three stories set in the 50s, 70s and 90s. There will also be a brief talk on where Ireland stands on abortion rights and a Q&A.

Learn About Positive Thinking

Dr. Maureen Gaffney, clinical psychologist, broadcaster, columnist and author of the book ‘Flourishing’, will be speaking about the power of positive thinking at 6.15pm on Wednesday, March 5th at Cork International Airport Hotel. Network Cork, the organisation which represents some of the leading business women in the region is planning this event to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event is free of charge to Network Cork Members, €25 for non-members. Space is limited and advance booking is essential. For more information on Network Cork and to book your place for this event visit: http://www.networkcork.com.

Discuss Women’s Contributions to Community Organising

To celebrate International Women’s Day and the Ballyphehane Togher Community Development Project’s 20th year in 2014, an event called ‘Moving Into the Space Cleared by Our Mothers’ will be hosted by Cork Independant editor Deirdre O’ Shaughnessy on Friday, March 7th from 5pm-8pm at the Atrium, Cork City Hall. Noreen Byrne, former chair of the NWCI and one of the founding members of Doras Bui, the first locally based lone parent resource centre in Ireland, as well as Frances Byrne, Director of Open Ireland, the leading anti-poverty network representing lone parent families in Ireland, will both be discussing contributions made by women to community organising in Ireland.

Learn about Access to Education for Girls around the World

The Cork French Film Festival and the Lord Mayor’s office are hosting a special free screening of ‘Girl Rising’, which will be introduced by President of Cork Chamber, Gillian Keating, and is supported by Intel company, McAfee. ‘Girl Rising’ is a project of the Girl Rising international movement (girlrising.com) which promotes education for girls around the world. Narrated by Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Selena Gomez amongst others, the free screening of ‘Girl, Rising’ takes place at the Gate Cinema at 11.30am on Saturday, March 8th. Tickets can be booked in advance by calling the Gate Cinema booking office: 021-4279595

Look after your Health & Well-Being

Cork Feminista will be hosting a free Self-Care Workshop at LINC, White Street, on the 8th of March from 4pm to 6pm. Mediation Instructor, Vaibh Savant, will be on hand to demonstrate relaxation techniques. Life Coach, Maite Fernadez, will guide participants through time management and organisational skills. Susanna Trifiletti will show you how to make homemade moisturizer, Emily Davis Fletcher will teach gentle stretching, and Deirdre Foley will finish the session off by teaching participants how to make a cheap, delicious and healthy snack. There will also be a Youghal Women’s Health & Well-Being Event on the same day from 10am-4pm in the Cumann Na Daoine & Foroige Youth Centre, where there will be free interactive workshops, free Holistic Beauty treatments and free childcare available on the day for kids over four. Later that evening, an interview with Rachel Keogh, former heroin addict and best-selling author of ‘Dying to Survive’, will be conducted in the centre from 7pm-9pm. Up in Fairhill, Farranree, a walk to celebrate women will be held at Fairfield Walking Park on March 8th from 11am-1pm, which will be followed by refreshments, talks on healthy living as well as courses and activities in the area, and there will be a free beautician available.

Stand on your Soapbox!

Although not in Cork, women can participate in the following event by heading to Dublin or taking part online. On Saturday, March 8th, the National Women’s Council of Ireland will have a pop-up Soap Box in O’ Connell Street, Dublin. The Soapbox, which will be situated in a Marque and fully managed, will be outside/opposite the GPO – an iconic Irish landmark in Ireland’s history, from 12pm to 4pm. This is to replicate the work of the early feminists who began their involvement in political campaigning by speaking out about equality issues on a soapbox on a city centre street. Irish women are asked to stand up on the soap box for 3-5 minutes and talk about what women want. If you can’t make it to Dublin, you can still participate on #NWCISoapBox, and the NWCI will be tweeting live from the Soap Box.

International Women’s Day Protest, 1pm outside Central Bank, Dublin 2 (organized by ROSA. http://www.rosa.ie)

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