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Letter to the Editor: Women must get out and vote

People need to be reminded to check they have a vote on May 24 when there are votes on divorce, for local candidates and European parliamentary elections. Voting cards ought to be arriving to voters. Otherwise, people should check and people here, born abroad, ought to make inquiries.

As is proper, there is already rugged gnawing over local issues, we are all locals, and local representatives see our vote as worth tussling over. They want us out to vote, ideally, for them.

The divorce referendum vote is directly from the electorate and all referendums are important.

The European Parliamentary elections will deeply affect hundreds of millions of European Union citizens.

All three votes will materially affect voters and women should make sure to vote.

The ultra-right has a dreadful focus upon the European Union. It holds a terrible fascination for them. Among them are ones that believe men are “lord and master” over women who must walk behind them. With those, women could forget abortion as a choice. LGBT+ could expect very rough handling by elements of the ultra-right.

Women seriously need to check that they have a vote. As it stands now, someone could be in a crisis pregnancy and might happen to be out buying groceries when one could be targeted in a shopping centre carpark by ones seeking to have you go with them for an ultrasound scan. Here and now, they can be told where to go and one can seek to find out how they got information to come targeting. To uphold women’s rights and capacity to make choices, women need to vote for the broad centre in EU elections.

Women were force-fed in prisons, so you can vote. Women died for your vote. Vote.

There are, maybe, 24 beds in two shelters for battered women in Moscow, a city of 13m people. What is it like for battered women outside Moscow? Certain physical assaults are now only covered by fines and police can offer very little help.

Back in 1917, the Soviet Union had given women the vote and they got the right to abortions. The workers’ paradise ended. Lives are brutalised, and supremacists seek to dominate women and rights are rolled back.

In the USA, as the ultra-right gain ground, in several states abortion rights are getting rolled back.

Voting is a way to fight for rights. Whilst you have a voice and a vote use them. Every day, rights have to be fought for.

On May 24, if you are delaying about voting and hear wings flapping, above and behind you it might be the Archangel of the European Union, Simone Weil, urging that you vote, she knows.

Tom Ryan

Co Limerick

This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 11 May 2019.

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