The artwork of a Carrickfergus girl will lead the annual International Women’s Day parade down Royal Avenue to Belfast City Hall on March 10.
Ciara Murray, a pupil of Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus, was persuaded to enter the annual poster design competition by her teacher who knew of her talent for art and her interest in civil liberties.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations in Northern Ireland is ‘No Woman Left Behind’ and 15-year-old Ciara chose to use images of women of different races and age groups to illustrate that all women matter.
The teenager, who wants to go on to study art at university, is passionate about feminism and equality issues, and plans to attend the rally – an annual event which offers a time to reflect on the struggles of the past, celebrate the present and look forward to a future where all women are treated with equality and respect.
She said: “My poster topic was intersectionality – showing how we are all connected no matter what race, class, age or gender. Everyone is equal and I feel very strongly that we stand together.”
Anne McVicker, Chair of Reclaim the Agenda, which organises the annual International Women’s Day programme, said they were delighted by the response to their poster competition: “The work of all the artists was inspirational and it was very difficult to choose a winner. It’s encouraging to see how these young artists depict equality and gender issues.”
Ciara’s artwork will be reproduced not only on large posters as part of the parade but also on the cover of the programme and smaller posters displayed in venues across Northern Ireland.
The parade and rally are open to all.
It starts at Writer’s Square at 11am and promises to be one of the biggest ever, with the hundreds of supporters including members of women’s organisations, trade unions and pressure groups as well as the Belfast Ukulele Orchestra, three female Roller Derby teams and representatives of Women and State Pension Inequality (WASPI).
For more information about this year’s International Women’s Day across Northern Ireland go to the International Women’s Day Northern Ireland and Reclaim the Agenda Facebook pages.