learn > news

Latest News

Women from across Ireland gather to demand leadership and action on women’s equality

Published: Saturday, March 05, 2022

Women from across Ireland gather to demand leadership and action on women’s equality

NWC holds No Woman Left Behind rally to mark International Women’s Day

Press Release

5th March 2022

Today, women from across Ireland, from trade unionists to local campaigns for refuges, gathered outside Leinster House for the National Women’s Council’s (NWC) No Woman Left Behind Rally demand Government action on key issues for women’s equality ahead of International Women’s Day, 8th March.  

As the rally started, there was a moment’s silence in solidarity with women and people in Ukraine and with all Ukrainians in Ireland.

Speakers at the rally included: Patricia King, Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Senator Eilenn Flynn, National Traveller Women's Forum; Sarah Benson, Women’s Aid; Noeline Blackwell, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre; Jason Poole, brother of Jennifer Poole; Salome Mbugua, AkiDwa; Roisin Shortall TD, Ailbhe Smyth, Feminist Activist; Vic Young, Alliance for Choice; Ruth Coppinger, ROSA; Brid Smith, TD; Ethel Buckley, SIPTU; Mary Lou McDonald, TD; Louise Bayliss, Focus Ireland; Eilish Balfe, Big Start Campaign; Gladys O’Neill, Pension Justice Activist; Ivana Bacik, TD; Lorraine Lally, Disability Rights; and Mimi Unamoya, Bomoko.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWC said,

“This International Women’s Day, women are gathering to send a clear message that women’s equality cannot wait. Women are angry at the lack of progress and inaction in many areas affecting their lives and the time has come for change. While progress has been made for women’s equality in recent years, the pace of change is just too slow and the pandemic has reversed some positive changes. This has affected in particular women from marginalised communities, such as migrant women and disabled women."

“We are here today to call for significant investment in tackling the high costs of living and crucial public services, including childcare. Our current system does not work for women. We have some of the highest childcare costs in Europe and some of the lowest paid childcare workers. A public not for profit childcare model will ensure access to quality, affordable childcare for parents and decent pay and working conditions for early years educators.”

“Women are also calling for a new National Maternity Hospital fully owned and controlled by the State so that we can guarantee it will deliver women’s health needs into the future. And women want to see the full range of abortion services in every community across Ireland to ensure women and people have access to timely and accessible care when they need it.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“We have reached a watershed moment when it comes to ending men’s violence against women. Creating the much needed zero tolerance culture to violence against women will require significant investment in services and supports and a prioritisation by government in a way we have never seen before.  Women want systemic change and no longer want to live in fear of the threat of violence.

Equality for women can only be achieved if we change the face of leadership in all sectors of our society, women are over 50% of our population and yet we fail to reach parity in our key leadership positions. The introduction of quotas in our local government and across our Boardrooms is a necessary step to achieve change and equality for women.”

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“We need to see women in all their diversity around the table where decisions are being made. In particular women from marginalised communities, including Traveller women, lone parents, disabled women and migrant women, are experiencing the impact of ongoing discrimination, sexism, poverty and exclusion. We must leave no woman behind as we build a better future for all.”Ends /


For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Coordinator, 085 8619087 and Silke Paasche, Head of Communications 085 8589104


The National Women’s Council is the leading national representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland, founded in 1973. We have over 190 member groups and a large and growing community of individual supporters.

The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality and no woman is left behind. This ambition shapes and informs our work, and, with our living values, how we work.

We are a movement-building organisation rooted in our membership, working on the whole island of Ireland. We are also part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights. Our purpose is to lead action for the achievement of women’s and girls’ equality through mobilising, influencing, and building solidarity.