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Why I’ll be protesting on 8 March for International Women’s Day

By Carah Daniel

As a teenage girl growing up in our society I’ve noticed the strong role that sexism plays. I want to stand up against sexism and for gender equality. I want to help see an end to violence against women and rape culture and have women be given the right to choose when it comes to abortion.

Something I feel strongly about is rape culture and how disgusting it is. 1/4 women are raped in their life time and 60% of rapes aren’t reported to the police. This is really disturbing and one of the reasons rape doesn’t get reported is because of rape culture. When a rape is reported the media ask questions like: What was the woman wearing? Was she alone? Where was she? Was she drunk? As if somehow this disgusting violation of her body is her fault! Slut shaming is a huge element of rape culture and basically says that women who were wearing revealing clothing when they were raped were ‘asking for it’ but rape isn’t about sexual desire, it’s about control. We need to abolish rape culture so that women can actually feel like they can report violence like this to the police.

Domestic abuse is another element of injustice against women and 1 in 5 women in Ireland have been in an abusive relationship. 25% of all violent crimes reported to the police internationally are of men abusing their wife or partner. Women shouldn’t feel threatened by their partners and we must protest against violence towards women.

I also feel strongly about abortion being made free, safe and legal in Ireland because I think women are capable of making the best decision for them without the assistance of the church or the state or protesters who don’t know their situation. Banning abortion in Ireland doesn’t stop Irish women from getting abortions, it just makes it more difficult. 12 women per day travel to England to get an abortion and others are forced to go to dangerous back alleys if they can’t afford the trip. Its extremely hypocritical to force women into dangerous, possibly life threatening situations because of the ban on abortion and then call yourself pro ‘life.’ The life of a foetus should not be put before the life of a fully grown woman.

I’m going to the protest on International Women’s Day because I want to help end rape culture, end violence against women and to know that if I’m in a situation of a crisis pregnancy I have all the options I should be entitled to.

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