An Open Forum ‘Linking Women,’ for women from different backgrounds in Dublin Inner City takes place in the Ozanam House, 53 Mountjoy Sq. West, Dublin 1. to mark International Women’s Day. Speakers include Nigerian human rights campaigner Benedicta Attoh and Jameela Shafaq, Afghan refugee and former TV presenter.
Local women from the inner city and from other parts of the country as well as women migrants, refugees and students will gather to discuss issues that effect them as women, regardless of class, political leanings or nationality. According to speakers Benedicta Attoh and Jameela Shafaq,despite the many differences in society between Ireland and other countries liked Afghanistan and Nigeria there are core issues that link women across continents. “Like violence against women which is still a huge issue for women all over the world.”
Forum organiser Ruth Diaz-Rufano of the Jesuit Refugee Service Community Links Integration Project says, “Mary Robinson spoke on International Women’s day of the need for strong voices willing to tackle the issue of gender violence at a community and political level or we would never see the end to these human rights violations. Well the Open forum this Friday is the community of inner city women from across the world making their voices heard on this and other issues central to women’s everyday lives.”
Some women at the Forum have experienced the silencing of their voices, like former TV presenter Jameela Shafaq and Bahi community member Mahin Sesidvash. “Jameela came to Ireland through the UN refugee programme. She worked in radio and television in Afghanistan until the Taliban came to power and Mahin was a women’s rights activist in Iran. We have a lot to learn from hearing their stories, according to Ruth Diaz-Rufano. Aideen Quilty, Outreach Co-ordinator in Women’s Education and Nobuhle Nduka of the Akidwa Sisters of Africa will also take part in the forum which is open to all. Creche facilities are available on request.