Women March Against Austerity
On Saturday 2nd May, WRDA joined the crowds of women braving the awful weather, and gathered in Belfast City Centre for the May Day March Against Austerity. They marched in solidarity with their families, friends, co-workers and comrades, and to mark the Cut It Out campaign by wearing yellow clothing, holding yellow banners and streamers, and sporting stickers with the campaign’s tagline: Women Demand More. Those who couldn’t make the rally itself showed their support by taking pictures and tagging them #cutitout on twitter. The rally began at the Art College Gardens, with speeches from workers and representatives from across the community and voluntary sector. Women’s Sector Lobbyist Orlaith Hendron, who has overseen the wider Cut It Out campaign, gave a rousing speech that drew attention to the fact that women are bearing the brunt of the cuts and austerity measures being imposed and that they should “celebrate the work women do that’s often unpaid in the home and to celebrate the contribution women make to families, communities and society in general.” She outlined the injustices women face from the government, and the lack of support on issues such as reproductive rights, childcare, education, political representation, peacebuilding, domestic & sexual abuse, LGBTQ rights, BME rights, equal pay, and more. Orlaith ended on a direct call for action, “We aren’t afraid to be angry women. We aren’t afraid to be confident women. We aren’t afraid to stand up to government. We aren’t afraid to stand up for equality. And we aren’t afraid to demand more. We demand more!” which had the crowd chanting before setting off in the rain to march around City Centre.