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(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #80 March 2004 - International Women's Day

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 15 Apr 2004 08:36:05 +0200 (CEST)


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There are a few ways in which International Women's Day can be
approached. It can be ignored. This is what mostly happens in the
mainstream media. Unlike Valentines Day and Mothers Day, cards aren't
given and presents aren't bought. With no profit to be made out of it,
the day is not exactly one that jumps out and grabs the attention.
For International Women's day this year in Dublin, as an act of
civil disobedience, the Alliance for Choice publicly distributed
leaflets that included the names and telephone numbers of clinics
in the United Kingdom and Europe, thus breaking the 1995
abortion information law which severely restricts Irish people's
access to information about abortion services abroad. On the other
side of the country, Global Women's Strike called for a picket at
Shannon airport to demonstrate against US military refuelling at
the airport.

International Women's Day is an expressly political day. In 1907
women sweatshop workers marched in New York and thus the
first International Women's day was born. Often when women are
celebrated it is because they are either cute (Valentine's Day) or
caring (Mothers' Day). There is nothing wrong with being cute or
caring, but on Internationals Women's day we get to highlight
those of us who are politically active, those who are fighting for a
better world, those who know that there can be a better world. I
don't know their names but I know I have linked arms with
women at Shannon Airport protesting against the war. I've stood
in front of bin lorries with women from the estate I live on. I have
met women as we marched, leafleted, picketed and posters for the
right to have an abortion on Irish soil.

There are many many ways in which life is difficult for women in
Ireland, from our pay packets, to the fact that we get little support
if we decide to have children and no support if we decide not to
have children. We have to wait weeks (and sometimes months)
for something as simple as the result of our smear tests. Like men
we live in a country which can't provide housing, medical
services, and security, basic human needs for all citizens. Yes
there is a lot to be angry about and a lot to change. Thankfully,
many of us, like those women who marched in the cold 87 years
ago, are not willing to make do with what we have been offered.
International Women's day is a celebration of those women who
make things better.

See also

* Anarchism & Womens Liberation
http://struggle.ws/wsm/women.html
* A selection of modern anarchist writings by women
http://struggle.ws/wsm/womenwriters.html
* Anarchism and the fight for Abortion rights
http://struggle.ws/wsm/abortion.html

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