A group of County Derry textile workers have marked International Women’s Day by continuing the tradition of presenting flowers to women at work.
Marion Baur, a linen weaver at the Flax Mill in Gortnahey, led teams of textile workers as they went out and about last Friday handing out red carnations to women at work.
With a team in both Dungiven and Upperlands, Marion was happy to be taking part this year.
She said: “During the past three years I was always asked to speak at a large women’s day event in Berlin – this year I made sure I can be here to visit working women on the day.
“We are proud to be part of a huge and growing number of activities all over the world around the 8th of March.”
This group of textile workers in Dungiven have been carrying out the tradition for several years after it originated in the 1912 song ‘Bread and Roses’.
Marion is especially proud that it was what she describes as her ‘sisters’ in the American mills who started the movement for women’s rights.
She said: “I think as textile-workers today we should feel obliged to carry on the good tradition and at the same time be aware that International Women’s Day is as far from being just a ‘historic event’ as ever.
“Pointing the finger at women’s problems and their struggles is as important as it was over a hundred years ago and celebrating their successes is making us happy.
“There would be no right for women to vote, nothing like equal opportunities to find work, had it not been for the struggle of women of the generations before us,” said Marion.
“Much has been achieved but much more has to be gained.”
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