Women’s rights groups have welcomed a ‘Let Women Speak” event to Dublin this weekend, saying that its “is a vital opportunity for women in Ireland to have their voices heard.”
The event, which will addressed by well known activist, Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker, is being held at Merrion Square South at 12:00pm this Saturday.
Let Women Speak
Saturday 16 September
Merrion Square South
(on the street)@ThePosieParker – we can’t wait to see you!
Feel free to comment or DM me for those worried about travelling in for the event. pic.twitter.com/LLHQvPCx1x
— Katherine Latham 🇮🇪🇦🇺 (@KatheineLatham) August 31, 2023
Spokeswoman for The Countess, Sorcha Nic Lochlainn, said women should “be able to speak freely about what concerns them in the public square.”
“It is extremely disturbing to hear of NGOs, along with political parties, supporting a protest that aims to ‘drown out’ women’s voices. It takes extreme bravery to speak up in this climate and [women] deserve to be heard,” she said.
Nic Lochlainn went on to say “This is an event organised by women and is for women. It gives a platform to women to speak about women’s issues. To frame this as ‘anti-trans’ is disingenuous and dangerous. To smear us as ‘far-right’ or ‘bigots’ is simply baseless propaganda. We are ordinary women who are speaking out for our rights.”
Let Women Speak is facilitated by campaign group Standing for Women, which is led by Ms Keen. It began in the UK and events have been held internationally, including in Australia and USA, and have amassed a global online audience.
The Let Women Speak event drew international headlines when it was attacked by transgender activists whose actions led Posie Parker/Keen-Minshull to fear for her life, after she was assaulted.
#WATCH RNZ's Jordan Dunn captured the moment that Posie Parker was escorted away from the rally.
The counter-protest crowd gathered in Albert Park this morning before Parker's speech, and made a cacophany of noise to drown her speech out.
— RNZ (@radionz) March 25, 2023
Keen states that “There are many women across Ireland who are desperate to use their voices to talk about what is happening, to express their concerns about the decimation of women’s rights and the attack on our families.”
“Let Women Speak is proud of the space that we create to facilitate those women’s voices. This is a genuine free speech event in which women go up and talk about whatever they want to talk about,” she said.
Event organiser, and Countess member, Katherine Latham says “The time has come for women in Ireland to speak. For women to tell their stories, of historic and current struggles, and speak about their fear for their children’s safety. I only hope one day that we can literally be heard at these events.”
Latham called on Irish women to speak up. She says “The more women who do this, the less reason people will feel like the need to hide. Women will not be silenced. We will not be hidden away. We are not doing anything wrong.”
She said that the “Let Women Speak [event] allows women to express their concerns around the erosion of women’s rights, spaces and language since the introduction of the Gender Recognition Act 2015, and the wholesale adoption of gender ideology in Ireland.”
Speaking about the violence at other events when protesters were able to get close to the speakers, Latham said “We are confident that the Gardaí will act to keep us safe as we exercise our democratic rights, just as the PSNI did in Belfast. The threat is real but we will not be intimidated into silence.”
The Countess Advocacy Group is calling on those who are planning a noisy protest, in order to silence women, to instead use their own platforms to express their disagreement, and simply let women speak.
Nic Lochlainn says “That we are called anti-trans for being pro-women shows there is a conflict of rights. Let’s start the conversation and allow all voices to be heard.”
What is #LetWomenSpeakDublin?
A brief description: a space where women can speak.
The "counter protest" is just a protest against women speaking. These people are trying to invoke the "heckler's veto." Speech that one doesn't like is best countered with more speech.
— The Countess (@TheCountessIE) September 14, 2023
The Natural Women’s Council was amongst other women’s groups and advocates supporting the event.
— 🟢🟣Women, Children & Family Advocate (@Jklunden) September 10, 2023
Campaigner Ailbhe Smyth, associated with many establishment rights groups in Ireland drew criticism when she called for protests against the ‘Let Women Speak’ event.
TERF is a frequently used term of abuse against women that is often accompanied with threats of violence pic.twitter.com/YXlZV5jup0
— Iseult (@iseult) September 12, 2023
I'm afraid this is a resignation matter for the chair of your board. #ResignAilbheSmyth Very disappointed that the #LetWomenSpeak event on Saturday will be hijacked by those who will only let the women speak that they want to hear. This is not democracy and Ms… pic.twitter.com/TGE4N9X1yy
— Senator Sharon Keogan (@SenatorKeogan) September 12, 2023
Keen has previously said that violent opposition would not silence women who wished to speak out.
Women’s rights activist Kellie-Jay Keen says she “won’t be silenced” after being attacked by “a mob of 2,000” trans activists in New Zealand.
— TalkTV (@TalkTV) March 27, 2023
But Dún Laoghaire TD, Richard Boyd-Barrett, said People Before Profit would be protesting against the women’s event.