Today is International Women’s day 2021, and this year’s global theme is #ChooseToChallenge. This theme is one that will be very familiar to the fabulous, diverse and inclusive LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. Our collective inclusive and intersectional activism across two referenda and many other social change issues is a living testament to the fact that challenging systems cause change and make our societies fairer and more equitable. We know the fight for true equality is far from over.
As the Managing Editor of Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ press in Ireland, I have the privilege of amplifying queer voices daily and get to witness first hand the tireless work being done by so many amazing intersectional feminists and activists on the island of Ireland fighting for equality and to dismantle structural oppression on many levels and in many ways.
International Women’s Day has been observed for more than a century since it began in 1911. The day recognises the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally, and it’s a call to action for gender parity. On this small island of ours, we’ve witnessed seismic change across the past 10 years alone and we know that true and lasting change and equality can only come from intersectional feminism.
#InternationalWomensDay is powered by the collective efforts of all who tenaciously mobilize and engage communities to #ChooseToChallenge – and who overtly encourage the celebration of women’s achievements.
— Women’s Day (@womensday) March 8, 2021
For International Women’s Day 2021, it is key to remember that strong alliances are necessary and powerful in both LGBTQ+ and Irish society. We understand that we are stronger together and that all of the members of our queer community have more that unite us than that which would seek to divide us. As we within the LGBTQ+ community know all too well, there have been recent attempts to divide our inclusive and intersectional community and it makes me so proud that these attempts have all been in vain.
Particularly, solidarity with our trans siblings was evidenced most recently by the broad range of signees to the letter penned by TENI’s new CEO, Éirénne Carroll.
In a recent piece exploring Transfeminism – the movement for the liberation of all women, our writer Aoife explains that “Transfeminist activists follow the principles of intersectionality. Kimberlé Crenshaw, the law professor who first introduced the concept, describes intersectionality as a lens for understanding how various forms of inequality operate together and exasperate each other.”
For International Women’s Day, we want to shoutout some of our heroes in Ireland. We couldn’t possibly mention all the incredible women so please reply and add more to the list! #IWD2021
— ShoutOut (@ShoutOut_IE) March 8, 2021
We must recognise that true equality for all women is tied to how we treat the most marginalised women in our societies. That should form the basis of our work and politics. This International Women’s Day 2021, I’m thinking of all the folks who find themselves at the intersection of womanhood and other marginalised identities.
This year, it is more important than ever that we choose to challenge our privilege, and ensure that the gender equality we work towards is an inclusive one which brings all women together – Queer women, trans women, Traveller women, women of colour, women with disabilities, women of all classes, migrant women, leaving no one behind.
As Síona Ní Chatháil eloquently shared on Twitter today, we must continue to examine where the gaps in our work and representation are:
Who is not in the room?
Who is not here?
Who are we not hearing from?
Who do we not see?
— Síona Ní Chatháil (@AnTaobhRua) March 8, 2021
GCN is committed to making sure we continue to amplify the voices of all the LGBTQ+ women in Ireland and globally that are working intersectionally to create equal access to opportunity, irrespective of gender, class, race, sexuality, gender identity, dis/ability, age and ethnicity.
The future is feminist.
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