International Women’s Day: More than 50 events for Ireland

It feels like the time is now. So join one of the many events celebrating women

This is the moment: 2018 feels particularly significant for International Women's Day. It's not only the centenary of the suffragettes, but #metoo and #timesup have raised mainstream awareness of exclusion, disparity, harassment and abuse. And in Ireland the Repeal the Eighth campaign and imminent referendum on amending the Constitution to permit abortion have placed women's rights centre stage. Many of the events relate to the referendum.

On International Women's Day women across the globe come together to force the world to recognise inequalities – and celebrate the achievements of women who have overcome these barriers. The day has been observed for more than 100 years. It started with the suffragettes, in the early 1900s, the first International Women's Day was celebrated in 1911, and it's now marked around the world. It has been celebrated on March 8th since 1913, and was recognised by the United Nations in 1975, which each year has created a theme.

This year International Women's Day has made a strong call to action to #PressforProgress on gender parity, by motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive. The theme reflects the growing global movement of advocacy, activism and support for gender parity and continue the vocal fight for equality.

The original aim – to achieve full equality for women around the world – has still not been realised. A gender pay gap persists across the globe, and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Across the world women’s education and health continue to be lag behind men’s, and violence towards women is still worse than it is towards men.

The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report for 2017 found gender parity is more than 200 years away globally, a pretty depressing assessment. In real terms the gender pay gap means that, in 2017, women effectively worked for free for 51 days of the year.

But last year, too, women’s rights dominated the news, with allegations of sexual misconduct against prominent men in power, including Harvey Weinstein, spreading globally through different sectors. Abuse and harassment that had bubbled below the surface for decades – centuries – were called out in high-profile sectors from film to fashion to music to politics to art.

Time magazine declared the outcry against sexual and gender injustice its Person of the Year for 2017, and made the Silence Breakers its collective winner. And in 2018 the high-profile endorsement of change continued with actors wearing black at awards ceremonies, the BBC journalist Carrie Gracie resigning as China editor over unequal pay, and Frances McDormand's inspiring Oscars speech this week.

The prominent names pushing the agenda are the headline grabbers. Real change happens in everyday lives and ordinary attitudes, which is where International Women's Day's #PressforProgress could be felt.

It encourages all women and men to take part, by choosing one area that you concentrate on to press for progress in your own sphere of influence: maintain a gender-parity mindset, or challenge stereotypes and bias, or forge positive visibility of women, or influence others’ beliefs and actions, or celebrate women’s achievements. Other actions for today can be to host an event or to join one of the many events happening around International Women’s Day. Some of them are below.

Whether a day of reflection, of action or of fun, plenty’s going on, so stand and be proud (or sit back and enjoy).

Selected events in Ireland

We recommend checking details and booking requirements before setting out


Surgeons, Starlets and Storytellers
National Library of Ireland; Thursday, March 8th, 7.30pm; all welcome; booking not required
Historian and NLI staff member Maeve Casserly explores the lives of extraordinary women in southeast Dublin in the 20th century, from stars like Maureen O'Hara and Maeve Brennan to Dr Kathleen Lynn and lesser-known figures.

Love in the Wild
Axis Ballymun; Thursday and Friday, March 8th and 9th, 8pm; €15/€12; 01-8832100,
A debut play by Lisa Walsh, a child-protection worker at Tusla, directed by Peter Sheridan and performed by Anto Seery. (Later touring the city, to Five Lamps Arts Festival, Sean O'Casey Theatre, Dolmen Theatre and Viking Theatre.)

Alliance Française Photobooth
La Cocotte, Kildare St - All day

The French Embassy and the Alliance Française in Dublin are running a photo booth all day   inviting people to share their convictions in favour of gender equality. Join the #PressforProgress movement, get your picture taken and send your message to challenge stereotypes and bias on women. Joint initiative by the French Embassy in Ireland & the Alliance Française.  Pictures will be on social media all week (@FranceinIreland – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram)

Stand Tall, Stand Strong: A Celebration of Women
InterContinental Hotel, Simmonscourt Road, Dublin 4; Thursday, March 8th, noon-4pm; €76/€70;
Network Ireland's International Women's Day Celebrations, in aid of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, are open to men and women. It includes a drink reception, lunch keynote talks, and discussions with speakers Senator Catherine Noone, the psychologist Niamh Fitzpatrick and Aine Kerr of Neva Labs. The MC is Clodagh Walsh of RTÉ Radio 1.

Irish Countrywomen's Association open morning
ICA Central Office, 58 Merrion Road, Dublin 4; Thursday, March 8th, 11am-1pm; free
The ICA's theme for International Women's Day is combatting isolation and loneliness . All welcome.

Focus Ireland lunchtime event with Sr Stanislaus Kennedy
1 Earlsfort Centre, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2; Friday, March 9th, 12.45-2pm;
Hosted by Eversheds Sutherland.

Women in a Viking World: The Finglas Burial in context
National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2; Thursday, March 8th, 1pm; free, booking required on or 01-6486334
Archaeologist Maeve Sikora, keeper of Irish antiquities, will talk about a Viking woman's burial in north Dublin and explore how gender was expressed through grave goods.

The Gender Pay Gap
Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7; Friday, March 9th, 6pm; €10 for nonmembers;
Lawyers Claire Bruton and Elizabeth Fitzgerald are joined for a discussion by Cathy Smith and Jeanne Kelly. Hosted by the Irish Women Lawyers Association All welcome. Reception to follow.

A Different Perspective: The Lives and Struggles of Working Women
Liquor Rooms, 6-8 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2; Thursday, March 8th, 8pm; entry fee replaced by donation of sanitary products for the Homeless Period
An evening of politics, songs, poetry and laughter.

Votes for Repeal: International Women's Day March
Starts at Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1; Thursday, March 8th, 5.30pm; free;
The Repeal the Eighth organisation rallies to change the Constitution to allow abortion a century after the suffragettes won women the right to vote.

Epic guided tours
Epic Irish Emigration Museum, CHQ, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1; Thursday, March 8th, 11am and 2pm; free with ticket, booking advised;
Bespoke guided tours to hear the stories of pioneering emigrants such as Agnes Clerke, the astronomer who has a lunar crater named after her; Mari Steed, tireless advocate for Magdalene-laundry survivors; Annie Besant, first woman president of the Indian National Congress and more.

Bold Girls: A Literary History of Wild Irish Girls
Long Room, Old Library, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2; Thursday, March 8th, 5-6.30pm; free
Dr Susan Cahill explores the figure of the unruly Irish girl in children's fiction to launch a new exhibition, Story Spinners: Irish Women and Children's Books.

Irish Times Women's Podcast
Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2; Thursday, March 8th, 8.3am; free with registration at
A special edition of this newspaper's podcast, recorded live on the morning of International Women's Day. In What's She Doing Here? (And How Did She Get Here?) Kathy Sheridan will talk to women who work in male-dominated fields, from an aircraft engineer to a fire officer, about the joys and challenges of their roles. The podcast also previews an exhibition at the museum about women who feature in a new book by the photographer Beta Bajgartova.

Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin; Sunday, March 11th; various times and prices;
The festival's International Women's Day events include Lean Out, which will consider women and economic power, with Dawn Foster and Frances Weetman; a celebration of Northern Ireland's remarkable women writers, with Susan McKay, Margaret Ward and Medbh McGuckian, Elaine Gaston and the singer-songwriter Hannah Peel; Maggie O'Kane, the trailblazing reporter also known for her global campaign to end female genital mutilation; and a screening of Jaha's Promise, the story of a young woman's battle against extraordinary odds to eradicate the practice that almost destroyed her life.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Lessons from Women Innovators
Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin 2; Friday, March 9th, noon-2.30pm
Maura McAdam, professor of management at DCU business school, gives a keynote address. Plus a panel of women who have made careers of innovation and risk-taking, including Mary McKenna of Tour America, Karen Malone of Centaur, Clare McHugh of Axonista, Dr Nora Khaldi of Nuritas, Sarita Johnston of Enterprise Ireland and Amy Burke of Bank of Ireland.

Spaces of Hope: A Conversation with Imelda Graham
Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Dublin 8; Thursday, March 8th, 6.30-8.30pm; €22.20;
Early Childhood Ireland hosts a conversation with the Irish early-years educator working with refugee and migrant children in Lesvos, Greece, where she has set up two kindergarten services. She will share insights from the camps and her practice with the children. Proceeds towards funding the kindergarten services.

Ban Ban
Sugar Club, Leeson Street, Dublin 2; Wednesday, March 7th, 6.30pm; €10;
Ban Ban and leading female voices from politics, history and academia explore what it means to be a woman in Ireland today and how close we are to gender parity. With Catherine Martin TD, Kate O'Connell TD, Senator Ivana Bacik, the historian Dr Mary McAuliffe and the social scientist Dr Claire McGing, moderated by Kate Butler. Post-panel tunes from Farah Elle, Everything Shook and Aoife Nic Canna. Profits to Inner City Helping Homeless and #MyNameIs.

Full listings on the UCD website
Women in the Media (Fitzgerald Chamber, UCD Student Centre, Thursday, March 8th, 1-2pm) A fireside chat hosted by Prof Orla Feely, with Róisín Duffy and Katie Hannon of RTÉ, to hear how women are shaping the media, plus an afternoon workshop, led by Women on Air, on engaging with the media.

Things We Shouldn't Say (School of English, J208 Newman Building, Thursday, March 8th, noon) Several of our stroppiest writers fire back in a performance hour including Amy Gaffney, Siobhan McMahon, Lauren MacKenzie, Shayna Sappington and Katy Hayes.

Unconquered and Unconquerable: Women and the Vote, 1910-1937 (UCD Archives, 10am-4pm, until September) Exhibition of documents from the university's collections, with accounts of Irish women standing for election, the campaign for equal suffrage in the Irish Free State and equal suffrage in the 1922 and 1937 constitutions.

Women's Suffrage, Women's Rights (Atrium, Old Student centre, Thursday, March 8th, 2.30pm) Student speakers and a poetry slam.

The Women of 1918: War, Revolution, Living (UCD Access & Lifelong Learning Centre, Dún Laoghaire Lexicon Library, 10am) Workshops through the day, including Engaging Men in Gender Equality and Women on Air: Bringing Your Expertise to the Media.

Popcorn with Ted
(Thursday, March 8th) A screening of Ted talks: Tom Clonan: The Future is Possible; Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche: The Danger of a Single Story; Michael Kimmel: Why Gender Equality Is Good for Everyone, Men Included; Reshma Saujani: Teach GirlsBravery, Not Perfection.

Empowering Women & Girls Through Sport (HG20; Thursday, March 8th, 6.15-7pm) DCU student union event with sporting heroes Rosemary Smith, the rally driver; Eve McCrystal, the cycling Olympian; and Fiona Hudson, the Dublin GAA player .

Imposter Syndrome: Why Successful People Feel Like Frauds (Tuesday, March 13th, 2pm; register for tickets here) The lecturer, researcher and author Hugh Kearns continues the Mary McAleese Women in Leadership lecture series.

Violence Ridicule and Silence: Irishwomen's Road to the Vote 
(Online) A new online exhibition marking 100 years of women's suffrage in Ireland, curated by the library of Trinity College Dublin, highlighting how it was an all-island activity influenced by events in England, and how violence and ridicule were used to prevent women from making their voices heard. You can see the exhibition here.

#MeToo, Then and Now (Thomas Davis Theatre, arts building; Wednesday, March 7, 7-8.30pm, free) A century after women gained the right to vote, how has their position in Irish society changed? With Deirdre Ahern, Lauren Arrington, Darryl Jones and Susan Cahill.

Twenty Years from Now (Triss centre, arts block; Thursday, March 8th, 6.30pm; €10; Trinity Women Graduates hosts Dearbhail McDonald talking about why the failure to support women in the workforce will herald a demographic winter for all.

Pro-life Feminists at the Dáil (Thursday, March 8th, noon) Forty anti-abortion women gather at the Dáil to tell Minister for Health Simon Harris that they deserve his support, not an abortion bill, and that abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.


International Women's Day: Sarah Beth + Sara Ryan + Mide Houlihan + Kelly Doherty
Cyprus Avenue; Thursday, March 8th, 9pm; €8;
In association with Girlcrew, in aid of the Sexual Violence Centre

Repeal the Eighth rally
Cork City Library, 57-61 Grand Parade; Thursday, March 8th, 12.30-2pm
Hosted by Cork Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Flash tattoo sale
Electric Soul, 4 Washington Street; Thursday, March 8th, noon-10pm;
Hosted by Rebels for Repeal, with predrawn, feminist-inspired designs, raffle and treats.

Open coffee morning
Robin Hill House, Lake Road, Cobh; Saturday, March 10th, 11am-1pm;
Hosted by Cobh4choice, on women's health and the Eighth Amendment.


Mindfulness and meditation workshop
Newbridge Library; Thursday, March 8th, 2.30pm; free, please book at or 045-448353
With Patricia Crimin.


Bridging the Gaps: Celebrating a Century of Women Activists
Cumann na mBan footbridge, Carrick on Shannon; Thursday, March 8th, 6.30-7.30pm;
Leitrim Abortion Rights Campaign plans to create a human bridge to commemorate extraordinary Irish women who have changed the world, joining hands across the Shannon from Leitrim to Roscommon.


Votes for Repeal march
Eyre Square; Thursday, March 8th, assemble from 6pm
Speeches from Galway Repeal Coalition and artistic support by AnnMarie Hynes, followed by a march ending at the Magdalene memorial on Forster Street.

Know Women?
Cellar Bar, Eglinton Street; Thursday, March 8th; 8pm; €5 per head
Pub quiz. All questions will be women themed. Test your knowledge.

Coffee morning and bake sale
Ward's Hotel, Lower Salthill; Sunday, March 11th, 11am-1pm
Meet for a chat and a coffee on Mother's Day. Includes questions about repeal.

Full listings here
Excellence in Higher Education Through Gender Equality (Siobhán McKenna Theatre, arts millennium building; Thursday, March 8th, 12.30-2pm) Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn's keynote address will be a personal and professional reflection. Hosted by the University Women's Network.

Same-sex relationships among Irish-revolutionary women (O'Donoghue centre for drama, theatre and performance; Friday, March 9th, 4pm) LGBT+ Staff Network hosts a talk by Dr Mary McAuliffe, professor of gender studies at UCD.

Stories of Una: Remembering Una Taaffe (CA111, lecture hall 1, JE Cairnes building; Friday, March 9th, 6.30-8pm; register at; facebook.comHosted by the Centre for Global Women's Studies and NUI Galway Feminist Society.


Styling for Success
Local Enterprise office, Carlow;
A workshop on dressing for success by stylist Elaine Scully.

WATERFORD Women’s Competitive Advantage

Local Enterprise office;
Dee Hutchinson, formerly of Vodafone and Accenture and now chief executive of Catalyst International, a learning and development company in the Middle East, will host a workshop to highlight the competitive advantages women can have in business and their careers.


Stepping up to the Challenge
Local Enterprise office;
Joanne Burke Sweeney, a former broadcast journalist and lecturer, gives a seminar on how to keep mentally fit as a woman entrepreneur.


Women's Black & Minority Ethnic Support Group
Donegal Women's Centre, Port Road, Letterkenny; Thursday, March 8th, 12.30-2.30pm;
The centre launches its new group, with guest speaker Dr Angela Byrne, a local historian.

A Stitch in Time
Local Enterprise office;
Social-media influencer, blogger and Retro Flame owner Erika Fox has advice on PR and what it's like to handle publicity for the likes of Olivia Palermo and Whitney Port, with whom she has worked in New York.


Captains' Room, Hunt Museum, Thursday, March 8th, noon; no booking required;
The ukelele players perform.

Public demonstration
Bedford Row, Limerick city; Thursday, rehearsal 1pm, begins 1.30pm
Repeal LK and Limerick Rosa socialist feminist movement host a silent demonstration in solidarity with the 99 people who gave a Limerick address when they travelled overseas to get an abortion in 2016. Children welcome.


International Women's Day rally
Guildhall Square, Thursday 8th March, 1pm
In support of women's liberation and reproductive justice.

Exhibition for International Women's Day
Eden Place Arts Centre, Pilots Row
Encompassing stories gathered from women from various backgrounds.


Pro Choice North Wexford Table Quiz
Loch Garman Arms, Main Street, Gorey; Thursday, March 8th, 7.30pm; €20 per table of four; bookings with Lauren at 085-1009497;
To raise money for the local pro-choice group.


Offaly Abortion Rights Campaign launch
Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore; Thursday, March 8th, 7-9pm;
Speakers set out their reasons for repealing the Eighth Amendment.


Three Billboards For Choice
Locations around Sligo town; Thursday, March 8th, from 5:30pm;
A Sligo Abortion Rights Campaign event.


Lauren Bird
Syrian Room, Clayton Hotel; Thursday, March 8th, doors 6pm; £6;
The singer-songwriter launches her new single, I'm Not, for International Women's Day, at Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.


Women Through the Decades
Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Holywood, Co Down; Sunday, March 11th, 10am-3.30pm;
Join the parade of suffragettes or suffragists at 3pm, to demand the vote; themed craft activities through the day. Holywood, Co Down


Women's History Seminar
Rosanne Clear lecture theatre, Mayo campus, GMIT; Thursday, March 8th, 1-2pm
Talks by Dr Yvonne McDermott and staff and graduates of the history and geography programme about nursing in the first World War, the stained-glass artist Beatrice Elvery, and the Mayo orphan girls during the Famine.


Irish Girl Guides
The organisation has a #becomeavolunteer recruitment campaign on International Women's Day to encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to volunteer; 3,000 girls are on waiting lists to join the Guides. The #becomeavolunteer video will be launched on Thursday on social media.

Dublin Digital Radio
The station is broadcasting 24 hours of women's voices, beginning on Wednesday, March 7th, at 3pm.
The station has a female musical takeover from noon to 5pm. Expect music from Gemma Hayes, Kate Bush, Soccer Mommy, PJ Harvey, Ham Sandwich, Marlene Enright, Blondie, Courtney Barnett and Björk.

Wiser: All Changed
Watch on Youtube
A film Angie Mezzetti made for Trinity College Dublin's centre for gender equality about the long struggle women had at the college – where, for example, until 1968 they had to be off campus by 6.30pm. "It was like an army barracks!" says Prof Corinna Salvadori, professor emeritus of Italian, who was one of the first women to be made a fellow of the college. She describes having her children at Easter and going straight back after the break to teach. Her husband used to bring the baby in to be nursed.

Trust Women Week
The LoveBoth Project's campaign focuses on the Limerick woman Mary Kenny and her three-year-old daughter, Hollie, as the public face of an anti-abortion information campaign for women in crisis pregnancy, for women who "feel betrayed" by politicians over women's health and abortion.

Homeless Period Ireland
Various groups and organisations are collecting for Homeless Period Ireland this week, and there is an Amazon wish list on their Twitter and Facebook pages, for items to donate to the women they support in direct provision, refuges and homeless outreach centres.

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