Today is International Women’s Day… a day that has significant meaning for me in a number of ways. The first being it is the anniversary of the day I lost the most important woman in any girl’s life, my mother, today being 23 years since her very sudden passing.
Several years ago I decided to dedicate part of this day to her by doing something with women for women, most often I join the local Quota Club for breakfast and listen to some amazing speakers, sadly however I couldn’t attend yesterday so I am hopeful they had a good turn out. This year I have elected to travel into the city for an IWD event that Senator Lee Rhiannon is hosting, there are some great speakers scheduled and I’m really looking forward to it.
But I have a number of male readers so the question beckons, why IWD not IMD… ?
I will highlight a couple of the reasons that come immediately to mind but the crux of the matter is we aren’t yet considered equal and we need to continually highlight and magnify the inequities in order to address them.
- Women still hold less than seats on any board than men by a considerable margin.
- Fewer women are elected to councils, state and Federal politics.
- Our first female PM is judged more by her wardrobe than her ability, which by the way she is a capable woman in so many ways even if you don’t agree with her politics.
- Women are still predominantly considered the child raisers to the point when a woman chooses politics as a career she is very often asked ‘who will look after the children’? I don’t recall ever hearing that question asked of a man who enters politics
- When a woman is promoted over a man, the most often heard comment is: who did she sleep with to get the job over ???.
- When a woman speaks up over an injustice or whatever, she is a bitch or premenstrual, when a fellow gets angry or annoyed about the same issue he’s being assertive or compassionate.
There are so many areas where there are unreasonable disparities, too many to list, these are but a few and they certainly aren’t the most important. It is important that we stop, reflect and re-evaluate what should constitute fair and reasonable.
Should we mandate how many women are elected to boards or promoted in the parliament or local school executives…? Most of the women I know would like to consider they earned the role, however if we have 70+% of the decisions being made by men without guidelines will it happen? Time will tell.
On this International Women’s Day I think it is also important to reflect on the gains…. we do vote, we no longer need a man to speak on our behalf, we are allowed to drive, (something not afforded to many, many women across the world) we can separate from a spouse if we’re being abused/mistreated, not so when I was a kid, in those days a women either had to put up and shut up or attempt to go it alone without assistance, many staying in abusive relationships so their children wouldn’t be disadvantaged. We no longer have to stand down from a public service position because we elect to have children, we can even get a loan on our own, which I might say was pretty difficult only 25years ago. We can purchase a car without needing an additional appointment with our husband “to talk about the money’, although some dealers are a bit slow on the uptake on that. Married/partnered women may stay as Flight attendants if they choose or have children. These might seem little in the scheme of importance but the truth is, each and every one of those ‘concessions’ came after considerable and hard fought battles. We have a fair way to go in the sporting arena but things are progressing albeit it very slowly. I think we as women still have to be mindful that our progress is fair and reasonable and doesn’t in itself, create a reverse injustice. Our gains are many in Australia but the injustice across the planet is palpable, we need to be aware that in other countries women are still devalued, some sacrificed and demeaned, some murdered or raped and some remain silent for fear of repercussions. In some countries, female babies are being ‘disposed of’ at birth and education is denied to girls completely and that is happening today.
So while you sit and watch the footie, read the paper, play with your kids or go about your day, please take a minute to count your blessings, while remembering those brave women who went before us, who fought for our basic rights, tell your daughters and sons. Share with them any inequities you see and fight the good fight for a fair and just Planet.
Have a lovely International Women’s day, give your mum, your sister, your Nan, your neighbour, your friend a hug and let them know how important they are.
See you at the top….. here’s a (((HUG))) from me.
“The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.”
“Feminism is an entire world view or gestalt, not just a laundry list of women’s issues.” Charlotte Bunch
http://youtu.be/V6fHTyVmYp4 Helen Reddy’s I am woman with lyrics for those who’ve not heard it in a while 🙂