On International Women’s Day this year Edinburgh joins millions of women around the world demonstrating with the slogan “When we stop, the world stops.”
Feminists of all genders are invited to take part in the demonstration on the 8th of March to support and join cis women, transgender women and non-binary people of any ethnicity or sexual orientation, who feel they have been marginalised or disadvantaged by the patriarchal system.
The march will start in Parliament Square at 6.00pm on 8 March 2019 and process through Lawnmarket, Johnston Terrace and Castle Terrace. There will be speeches by Women Strike Assembly, Women for Independence, Resist Brazil – Scotland, Scottish Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, Zero Tolerance, Edinburgh Abortion Rights, SCOT-PEP and National Union of Scotland. The march will finish in Festival Square with a rally and performance of a women-only human tower.
An International Women’s Day Edinburgh (IWDE) spokeswoman said : “There was a great turnout at the Mound on International Women’s Day last year.
“We were inspired by this, and the massive demonstrations by women all over the world, to organise an even bigger celebration in 2019. We are gathering to celebrate the rights already won by women and take the next steps, to create a fairer, more peaceful and more liveable world for everyone.”
After the march there will be a solidarity party at Henry’s Cellar Bar, 16A Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8BJ at 9.00pm. There will be spoken word performances by Ashley Stean, Lisa Fannen, Suky Goodfellow and music from The Suffrajitsus, The Noise and The Naive, The Farting Suffragettes and DJ Foxxy.
The events have been organised by IWDE which was formed in 2018 by migrant and Scottish women who were encouraged by the success of the Spanish women’s strike in the same year. IWDE has produced a femifesto with other feminist organisations, which has already gathered more than 100 signatures and is adhered to by organisations such as Zero Tolerance, Plan C Edinburgh, Resist Brazil – Scotland, Clitbait, Sanitree, Gals for Gals Scotland, Flores de Kiskeya, Sisters Uncut Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Marxist Society, Fanny Riot and Oficina Precaria Scotland.
A spokeswoman for Resist Brazil – Scotland said: “For us having a march on International Women’s Day in Edinburgh is important because to be a woman in Brazil is an act of resistance in itself, and to be able to have the love and support of our international sisters means a lot to us.”
The IWDE spokeswoman added: “When we first got together, we aimed for an actual women’s strike in Edinburgh. However, after meeting the unions, we realised that to organise something of that scale, we first needed to gather support from all feminist groups and to organise social/cultural events with union support. Local union activists suggested that there are not yet the appropriate circumstances for a successful women’s strike. This is why IWDE will continue to work alongside the unions on specific issues such as maternity rights, the pay gap, sexual harassment, and improving contracts and working conditions for women”.
The IWDE group adheres to the International Women’s Strike Movement and is part of Women’s Strike Assembly UK who re-imagine Women’s Strike to create new forms of resistance against exploitation in all types of work women do – whether this is paid work in offices and factories, or unpaid domestic work in homes, communities and bedrooms.