Last Tuesday (8 March) over 100 gathered in the stunning surrounds of Waterford’s Theatre Royal to enjoy an inspiring line up of women who spoke and performed on stage to celebrate and mark International Women’s Day. The occasion was Break the Bias – Waterford’s Third Global Women’s Conference which was organised by Europe Direct Waterford, Waterford Integration Services and Waterford Libraries and marked a return to live events after two years.
The very special line-up of speakers and performers included Waterford writer Dalal Sayed who has written her story Escape from war to live in peace as a Syrian Refugee who now lives with her family in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, her mentor poet Lani O’Hanlon. Cllr. Mary Roche deputising Mayor, Magda Boulabiza from European Network Against Racism (ENAR) travelled to Waterford from Brussels for the event. ENAR’S aim is to end structural racism in the European Union. Health Advocate and performer Osas Iyamu Usideme spoke and performed a poem and Director of the Bealtaine Library Choir Anne Woodworth also spoke and was joined on stage by 10 members of the Bealtaine Library Choir who sang the European Union anthem Ode to Joy and Oh What a Beautiful Morning. Cora Kearney founder of the Positive Ability Network and the Trash to Treasure Project also spoke as well as student Ciara Fitzgibbon and Sarah Benson CEO of Women’s Aid recorded a short message for the event. Programme Lead at Waterford Integration Services Anne Nolan MCed the event and Singer-songwriter Minnie Marley sang four of her original songs to a delighted audience to end what was an inspirational morning celebrating women’s achievements.
Sinead O’Higgins, Europe Direct Waterford and Waterford Libraries said: “This International Women’s Day we came together for Waterford’s Third Global Women’s Conference. It was our first real-live event in two years and it was a very special morning. We connected, we cried, we laughed, we listened and we were inspired. I would like to extend a huge thank you to all our speakers and performers. We are looking forward to next year already”.
Anne Nolan, Waterford Integration Services added: “International Women’s Day reminds us that whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough; action is needed to level the playing field. We can strive for a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive and a world where difference is valued and celebrated. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Today we were proud to do our bit in Waterford to help create an inclusive world and open a discussion about how we can all #BreakTheBias on International Women’s Day (IWD) and beyond”.
The Europe Direct Waterford Centre is based in Central Library in Waterford City. It is part of a community of 424 Europe Direct centres around Europe whose purpose is to reinforce the important connection between EU institutions and citizens The Europe Direct network provides timely and factual information on European matters, but also seek to engage with citizens regarding the state and future of the European Union. You can find out more at: @eudirect on facebook and twitter.
For more information contact:
Sinead O’Higgins, Manager Central Library and Europe Direct Waterford. firstname.lastname@example.org / 087 3637119