International Women’s Day event Parliament Buildings
The following are the remarks made by Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann at a press conference in Stormont this morning in advance of the International Women's Day event organised by Sinn Féin.
Ms McCann said:
"Tomorrow is International Women's Day. It is an important day in the international political calendar.
"It is celebrated around the world and is an occasion when women draw attention to the inequalities and injustices experienced by women.
These take many forms:
- discrimination in employment;
- sexual abuse, violence against women;
- sexism in society.
"Women have consistently challenged these injustices and inequalities. And republican women especially have been to the fore in this.
"International Women's Day has long been marked by republican women in a variety of ways; marches and debates; posters and books, pamphlets and in many other ways. At the heart of this struggle is demand for equality. This morning's event is part of this.
"Mairead Farrell was a republican activist who understood the importance of the struggle for equality for women in the context of achieving fundamental change within society which would benefit all citizens. Along with other republican women, for example, Sheena Campbell and Maura Drumm, she has become an inspiration for a new generation of women, and especially republican women activists.
"Several friends and colleagues of Mairead will speak about her; talk about her life and experiences and set this in the context of the efforts to advance equality for women. My colleagues and I regret the decision taken by the Assembly Commission.
"It is disappointing that the SDLP chose to support the position adopted by the unionist parties.
"But let me be clear, this morning's event was always in the context of International Women's Day. And we are not prepared to allow Mairead's good name to be made the subject of controversy.
"The event is going ahead. It will be dignified and respectful." ENDS