In these enlightened times it is hard to imagine that women didn’t always have the right to vote. New Zealand became the first country to give the women the right to vote in 1893. Women in other countries did not enjoy this equality and campaigned for justice for many years. Irish women were not given the right to vote until 1922 and even then they had to be aged 21.
In 1910 an International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women’s Day - to press for the rights of women in society. International Women’s Day was born and is celebrated on March 8 every year since 1911.
Cuan Saor in collaboration with the Common Thread café, are continuing this tradition of celebration by renaming the streets of Clonmel after great Irish female role models. On Thursday, March 5 the staff and friends of Cuan Saor and the Common Thread Café took part in a workshop to research and discuss prominent Irish women from the canon of Irish history and current affairs and debate who was most worthy of making it onto a shortlist of possible street names. There are many worthy Irish heroines, courageous women, sisters, mothers, campaigners, social entrepreneurs, artists and politicians to choose from and it was a heated debate The women selected had their names transferred to Pink Card, which were being put up around the town of Clonmel for one day only, on March 8.
Cuan Saor is a Women’s refuge based in Parnell Street, Clonmel. It provides accommodation for women and their children who flee domestic violence. It provides a 24hr helpline service as well as an outreach service out into the county and a court accompaniment service too. The freephone helpline number is 1800 57 67 57. The Common Thread Café is a free creative and social space run by volunteer hosts also on Parnell street.
It is proposed to continue this collaboration for St Patrick by entering a large group of women to promote women’s issues and services as well as great Irish female role models. If you belong to a women’s group or related service or would like to take part as an individual, get in touch for more details and to register by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call in to the café on 15 Parnell Street, Clonmel