Women march for equality at Belfast suffrage event

The Belfast march was part of a UK-wide celebration of women's rights. Credit: Pacemaker

Thousands of women have joined processions in Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and London marking 100 years since the first British women won the right to vote.

Processions 2018 has been hailed as an opportunity to continue the call for equality for women across the world today.

Hand-made banners on display at events across the UK, created by female artists and women’s groups, recognised the issues of women in the 21st century.

“We have a rich history of women from Northern Ireland who led the way in fighting for female emancipation, for the right to be heard and for the right to vote,” Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to remember those names in a living artwork of mass participation by women and for women.”

Women remembered those who led the suffragette movement and called for more rights around the world. Credit: Pacemaker

Issues including abortion rights were to the fore at Sunday’s march, with some women carrying placards reading: “The North Is Next.”

They were making reference to the recent referendum in the Republic of Ireland, which saw voters back repealing the Eighth Amendment of the Irish constitution.

The focus has since turned to Northern Ireland where abortion remains illegal in all but the most exceptional of circumstances – out of step with the Republic and the rest of the UK.

Northern Ireland is now firmly in the sights of campaigners for abortion rights. Credit: Pacemaker