Cork protest against gender-based violence and the war in Ukraine takes place in the city

The protest, organised by the feminist and socialist movement ROSA, was one of several protests yesterday organised nationally by the group
Cork protest against gender-based violence and the war in Ukraine takes place in the city

Martina Flanagan, Eve Telford and Luna Olivia Avery at the Grand Parade, Cork at a protest organised by ROSA- Socialist Feminist Movement against gender violence and the war in Ukraine. Picture Dan Linehan

PROTESTORS took to the streets of Cork yesterday on International Women’s Day calling for “fundamental change” to address gender-based violence and to voice opposition to the war in Ukraine.

The protest, organised by the feminist and socialist movement ROSA, was one of several protests yesterday organised nationally by the group.

Protest organiser and ROSA and Socialist Party member, Martina Stafford said key changes are needed to crack down on gender-based violence.

“In January, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in an outpouring of grief and anger following the brutal murder of Ashling Murphy and to say ‘Never Again’.

“To end gender-based violence, we need a movement for fundamental change,” she said.

“We will be protesting to demand a tripling of funding for domestic violence refuges, objective sex education in our schools, with consent at its core, an end to victim blaming in the courts and an end to church control of our schools and hospitals.” 

 Marian Murphy at the Grand Parade, Cork at a protest organised by ROSA- Socialist Feminist Movement against gender violence and the war in Ukraine. Picture Dan Linehan
Marian Murphy at the Grand Parade, Cork at a protest organised by ROSA- Socialist Feminist Movement against gender violence and the war in Ukraine. Picture Dan Linehan

Speaking to The Echo, Ms Stafford said it was important to ROSA to also use the protest yesterday as a platform to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“There’s a really proud history of International Women’s Day with socialist women and labour struggles at the heart of it going back more than 100 years.

“International Women’s Day has led to major mobilisations of women and gender non-conforming people and workers against oppression and inequality.

 Martina Flanagan, Eve Telford and Luna Olivia Avery at the Grand Parade, Cork at a protest organised by ROSA- Socialist Feminist Movement against gender violence and the war in Ukraine. Picture Dan Linehan
Martina Flanagan, Eve Telford and Luna Olivia Avery at the Grand Parade, Cork at a protest organised by ROSA- Socialist Feminist Movement against gender violence and the war in Ukraine. Picture Dan Linehan

“In Petrograd [St Petersburg] in Russia in 1917, women textile workers demanded bread and an end to WWI.

“Working class women are brutally affected by war. As well as the obvious hardship facing all those impacted by war, women are faced with the added threat of sexual violence being used as an act of war so that’s something we’ll be pointing out today and we want to stand in solidarity with all the ordinary people in Ukraine against this brutal war,” she said.

Socialist Party TD Mick Barry voiced his support for the protest ahead of the event yesterday.

 Eileen Burke and Breda O'Donoghue of the Traveller Visibility Group at the Grand Parade, Cork at a protest organised by ROSA- Socialist Feminist Movement against gender violence and the war in Ukraine. Picture Dan Linehan
Eileen Burke and Breda O'Donoghue of the Traveller Visibility Group at the Grand Parade, Cork at a protest organised by ROSA- Socialist Feminist Movement against gender violence and the war in Ukraine. Picture Dan Linehan

“I want to congratulate the organisers of the ROSA protest.

“The work ROSA is doing on the gender violence issue is vital,” the Cork North-Central TD told The Echo.

“I have no confidence that the Government will act with sufficient determination to tackle the gender violence issue and I stand in solidarity with those who are organising for change from below.

“I also want to express the hope that a strong socialist feminist movement will emerge from the work that ROSA is doing.”

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