Belfast Telegraph

International Women's Day: Parliament Buildings turn purple for first time to mark global celebration

By Amanda Ferguson

Parliament Buildings at Stormont are to be lit up purple in honour of International Women's Day for the first time.

The Assembly Commission agreed to transforming the colour of the iconic building next Monday night after MLAs discuss a report on women in politics.

Sinn Fein MLA Caitriona Ruane welcomed the move, which is one of a series of events being hosted to mark International Women's Day on Sunday.

"The Assembly will be sitting on Monday and a report on women in politics will be discussed, so it is fitting that it is lit up on Monday to mark the occasion," she said. This Sunday will see people across the globe honour women's achievements and call for greater equality as part of the annual purple-themed celebrations.

It was also agreed yesterday that Stormont would go green for St Patrick's Day, Orange for the Twelfth of July and red for Remembrance Sunday.

The first International Women's Day was celebrated in 1911 with over a million women across Europe attending demonstrations.

This year the theme is Make It Happen and events are happening throughout March.

In Northern Ireland there will be everything from art workshops to family film screenings to voting registrations and rallies.

Tomorrow hundreds of women will march from Writer's Square to Belfast City Hall for the annual rally.

The women, many of whom will be dressed as suffragettes, will march down Royal Avenue to hear speakers, including Belfast Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon.

Other attendees include Raquel Hosein, an award-winning engineering and mathematics student from New York who was invited by the organisers to promote the subjects where young women traditionally underachieve.

Speaking about the decision to light Stormont purple, Anne McVicker, director of the Women's Research and Development Agency, said it was "recognition of the invaluable contribution that women make to Northern Ireland. But it must also serve as a reminder that our fight for equal rights in the workplace, for fair political representation and for our rightful place in civic society continues," she added.

For details of more events in Northern Ireland, visit

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