International Women's Day

8 Mar 2013

Theresa Devenney, Emer Costello, MEP, Ann Louise Gilligan and Nessa Childers MEP at ICTU IWD Thurs EU Reception
Theresa Devenney, Emer Costello, MEP, Ann Louise Gilligan and Nessa Childers MEP at ICTU IWD Thurs EU Reception

Trade Unions globally held many events to mark International Women's Day. CWU Womens Day 2013 copy CWU produced this poster for the day

Here in Ireland, events kicked off with a reception hosted by Nessa Childers MEP, Emer Costello MEP and Phil Prendergast MEP at European Parliament House here in Dublin.  Many thanks to all.

Congress hostied it's Women's Seminar at Liberty Hall on 8th March, followed by a social event that evening and a range of SIPTU events to commemorate the Irish Women Workers Union. See our statement for the day here

Betty Tyrrell CollardBetty Tyrrell CollardBetty Tyrrell Collard welcomed delegates on behalf of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions






Eugene McGloneCongress President, Eugene McGlone, addressing delegatesCongress President, Eugene McGlone speech;







Michael Collins NERIMicheal Collins of NERI addressing seminarMicheal Collins from Nevin Economic Research Institute here and blog here









This was followed by a panel discussionMary McSorley, Orla O'Connor and Carol BaxterMary McSorley, Orla O'Connor and Carol Baxter

Anne Louise Gilligan Anne Louise Gilligan and Ethel Buckely









Esther Lynch Fri Conf 2013Esther LynchEsther Lynch on 100 years of Collective Bargaining here









UNISON InezPamela Dooley and Patricia McKeown with Inez McCormack in UNISON Belfast offices at unveiling of portrait of Inez

Sarah King Fri Conf 2013Sarah King from ETUCPatricia McKeown paid a very moving tribute to Inez McCormack


Sarah King (ETUC) and Emer Costello MEP, discussed gender equality at EU level. . This included a discussion on the Irish Governments plans to transpose the Parental Leave Directive - more here. ETUC Press release for the day is here






Magdalene all of stageTribute to the Magdalene WomenWe were also priveleged to have a brief session with some of the Magdalene Women and campaigners.  Congress Women's Committee has been a strong supporter of their demands to ensure that the forthcoming reparations process is independent, open, transparent, accessible and fair and must provide justice to the women, by responding to the full extent of the human rights violations that they suffered. Congress also recently wrote to the Taoiseach seeking the inclusion of the Bethany Home, Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin, that closed in 1972, in the scheme of redress offered to former residents of Magdalene laundries. 

Gloria Ampara Suarez Fri Conf 2013Gloria Amparo Suarez from Colombia

Gloria Amparo Suarez a worker for the Womens' against Violence Organisation (OFP) in Barrancabermeja in Colombia also addressed the seminar. She told us of the fear herself and her colleagues go through every hour of the day and of the constant death threats to young people and of the personal threat which she received on 11th February when a right-wing para-military group knocked on her door, with photos of her two sons (18 and 19 years old) and told her they would kill them if she did not stop participating in this movement . The violence, so much part of

their daily lives is tearing their community apart - they are constantly trapped between the right wing paramilitaries, the corrupt state army and police, and the left wing guerillas.

Pics from the day taken by NUJ member, Paula Geraghty, available on Flickr here

Patricia King at ICTU IWD Thurs EU ReceptionPatricia King at ICTU IWD Thurs EU Reception

Meanwhile, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) wants to stress the issue of violence against women and girls, which is the topic of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) taking place in New York from March 4 to 15.  Last year, the UN Commission failed, for the first time in its history, to reach any conclusions because of conservative governments who ended up questioning the very fundament of gender equality. We cannot let this happen again, and certainly not on such a crucial issue as violence. The ITUC together with the Global Union Federations want to play an important role in making sure the UN Commission sends a strong message to all governments regarding their responsibility for eliminating violence against women and girls. Maire Mulcahy at ICTU IWD Thurs EU ReceptionMaire Mulcahy at ICTU IWD Thurs EU Reception

For the first time, the draft agreed conclusions of the 57th UNCSW have been made public. We believe the content of the draft agreed conclusions must be defended and have written to the Irish Government to ensure they will refuse any weakening of the current draft.

-See special ITUC report on violence against women.
-The Global Union statement for the 57 UNCSW is here

Trade union perspective on UNCSW can be read here

The ILO als had a focus on Violence against Women

The European Economic and Social Committee released an opinion on The gender dimension in the Europe 2020 strategy