Saturday 18th December saw activists from a number of pro-choice organizations including the WSM rally at the GPO in Dublin to mark the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the ABC case. The short rally which took place in the bitter cold had been called at just over 24 hours notice by the Feminist Open Forum but still attracted a few dozen activists who have been involved in campaigning against Ireland's ban on abortion in the last decades.
Through a 'Freedom of information' request the pro-choice campaigning group Choice Ireland have revealed that over a thousand desperate women were denied an abortion last year because customs seized the medicine that they had ordered over the internet. In many cases these women were unable to travel to Britain because of poverty or because they were immigrants who felt unable to risk leaving Ireland lest they be refused readmission.
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.
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).
Gender is not as it appears in the popular media and general conversations
How different are men and women? Very, according to some. John Gray’s book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” is based on the idea that there are fundamental differences between the genders. It may be just another self-help book on relationships, but it has also sold over 30 million copies and been translated into 40 languages.
At the end of October (2006), Denis Vranich, a millionaire night club owner and property speculator was convicted of a sexual assault on a 22 year old his employee working at his club. The Hamilton Spectator reported that "Vranich grabbed the woman, pulled down her bodice, groped her breasts and penetrated her with his finger", in her Victim Impact Statement the employee reported "The thought of him makes me absolutely nauseous and brings on panic attacks".
Gale Ahrens has done the anarchist movement a real service in putting together this collection, which should rescue Lucy Parsons from the dark corner she has existed in. In it she emerges from the shadow of her martyred husband as a central if neglected figure in the development of anarchism in the USA.
D case continues in High Court - Pro-choice Activists In Solidarity With Miss "D" The D-case of a 17 year old woman who has been prevented travelling to England for an abortion continued in the High Court today.
For the last few months (2001) Irish pro-choice activists including members of the WSM have been preparing for the arrival of the Women of the Waves ship in Ireland. This has provided the strongest focus since the X case to resume the struggle for the right of women to control their own bodies, including the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy.
Around 300 people marched through the centre of Dublin on Saturday 16th Feb 2002 to mark the 10th anniversary of the 'X' case and to support a No vote in the latest anti-abortion referendum. 10 years earlier in 1992 the courts placed an injunction of a 14-year-old rape victim in order to prevent her travelling to England for an abortion. At the time not only was abortion illegal in Ireland but many activists had been prosecuted simply for providing the phone number of British clinics to pregnant women.