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Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Stamps and Postcards Celebrate Women's Rights

On 3 March, 2011, An Post issued 2 stamps commemorating Women's Rights. One stamp marks the centenary of International Women's Day. The other celebrates the founding of the Irish Women's Suffrage Federation.

In the early years of the 20th century, women in Ireland and throughout Europe became increasingly vocal about their oppression and inequality at home, in the workforce and in elections. This continued a protest movement that had begun in Ireland in the last quarter of the 19th century; 1911 was a key year in the achievement of women's rights.

For the first time, International Women's Day was celebrated in 1911, in four countries; Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. That same year also saw the foundation of the Irish Women's Suffrage League by Louie Bennett, which acted as an umbrella organisation for a dozen groups working for women's rights. The longest established of these was the Dublin Women's Suffrage Association, founded in 1876.

The rights demanded by women went well beyond enfranchisement, although the right to vote for women was brought in soon after the Irish Free State was established.

The stamps and first day cover were designed by Ger Garland.