It’s International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s economic, political, and social achievements. Every year, there is more to celebrate and it’s also a reminder of the work there is left to do.
Here’s a carnival roundup of some great articles about International Women’s Day.
In Long live International Women’s Day? I certainly hope not, Georgina Dent reminds us why we even have such a day.
Do they consider the reason such events, or such an occasion, remains necessary? That it is not merely an opportunity to showcase or celebrate the achievements and talents of women? That it is a bleak reminder that girls and women around the world still do not occupy the same status as boys and men?
A staggering reminder is the End the Right To Rape campaign.
HUSBANDS who rape their wives in 142 countries across the world, including European powerhouses Spain, Italy and Germany, will not automatically be charged with a crime.
That’s the shocking finding of a UN report which details how a staggering 73 per cent of the world’s countries do not explicitly outlaw a husband raping his wife, affecting 2.6 billion women.
And a laughable reminder came from a story in the Brisbane Times that could have just as well come from The Onion. It was the LNP’s hosting of an International Women’s Day lunch at a men-only club. Parliamentary Speaker Fiona Simpson doesn’t understand the difference between men-only clubs and women-only gyms and Prime Minister Tony Abbott hailed the event as a triumph for feminism.
“This is just how wonderful this broad church that I lead is … obviously they’ve just broken down the last barrier and they’ve made the men-only club admit women,” he said in a spirited response during question time.
“Admit women! Isn’t that fantastic? At last, this bastion of chauvinism has admitted women and they’ve done it on International Women’s Day because of the Liberal National Party.
“Good on the Liberal National Party, smashing the glass ceiling yet again. I say congratulations and thank God that bastion of old-fashioned chauvinism has finally collapsed like the walls of Jericho at the trumpet cry of the Liberal National Party.”
As Queensland Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said, “Seriously? You can’t make this stuff up.”
Meanwhile, the gender pay gap is widening here in Australia.
Annese said that women’s underemployment has doubled, the gender pay gap has increased again instead of decreasing, and women are increasingly relegated to part time work which is very often low paid and low status.
Woman’s Day looks at some of Australia’s most inspiring women including Rosie Batty who is everywhere right now. Too bad the story didn’t include a single woman of colour. It highlights how Indigenous women are discriminated against and also just largely forgotten and swept aside.
When I think of strong women I have had the privilege of meeting in my life – I think of people like Rosalie Kunoth Monks, Larissa Behrendt, Nicole Watson, Marianne McKay, Celeste Liddle, Kelly Briggs, Vanessa Culbong, Karen Fusi, Bev Manton, and many, many others who are too numerous to name.
They may not be household names, they may not be people you immediately equate with feminist movements, but they are strong black women who deserve to be celebrated, who deserve to have their experiences given the same weight as non-Indigenous women.
Let me end on positive note and mention some women that I’m loving right now.
I have to start with Tess Munster, also known as Tess Holliday. The gorgeous, tattooed, size 22 American model is kicking ass right now and making headlines for being the first woman of her size and height to sign a contract with a major modelling agency. She is transforming an industry and inspiring women everywhere to #effyourbeautystandards.
Sheryl Sandberg, formerly of Google, is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. I recently finished reading her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. I was reading it on Kindle and love it so much that I bought a paperback copy so I can share it with all my friends. The book is about feminism and women at work. It looks at the barriers that prevent women from taking leadership roles at work and what can be done. It’s eye-opening and inspiring.
Emma Watson is still making me smile. Although her speech on feminism at the United Nations wasn’t exactly groundbreaking, it was important. Girls struggle with feminism, with that word, and it’s important to see celebrities that they look up to explain it and embrace it. Watson is a great role model for girls, the kind I wish I’d had when I was young.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Who inspires you?
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