International Women’s Day

For at least twelve years a small group of women have been celebrating IWD in our regional town. This year there were several different celebrations, and the long-standing dinner has grown to over 60 people, including mothers and teenage daughters. How wonderful to see awareness and participation increasing!

traditional welcome

traditional welcome

We met at the Waterfront Hotel on the Moruya River. Two Koori women gave us a traditional welcome to country, one speaking in the local language which she is learning as an adult, since her parents and grandparents were forbidden from speaking their own tongue by the authorities of the day. Thankfully many words were recorded and the Durga language is being revived now amongst young and old.

OM, our organiser

OM, our organiser

OM and others had invited Doctor Elizabeth Reid to speak to us. Dr Reid was Adviser on women and children to the Prime Minister of Australia (1973-75), has worked throughout the world as an advisor on development projects. She shared with us the topics of letters she received from women asking for help in the 1970’s …. such as the refusal of banks to lend to women, unequal pay, discrimination in favour of men, all things we older women were quite familiar with, and then she said with hindsight she sees that the religious idea of male headship had become secularised to the point where women could no longer function individually in society. Elizabeth challenged us to realise that these ideas are alive and well, with (for example) an encroachment being made on childcare provisions by our our current government, based on the notion that women’s place is in the home, subservient and submissive. It was a powerful message to remain aware and active in the struggle for freedom and women’s rights.

Jan Phillips, travels throughout Asia and the Middle East training medical teams in palliative care

Jan Phillips, travels throughout Asia and the Middle East training medical teams in palliative care

We have so many inspiring women in our small community! It was a feast of strong women last night, with two Shire councillors present as well. Some wore purple, the International Women’s Day colour.

dressed in purple!

dressed in purple!

Enjoy this slideshow of faces as women shared food and conversation after the talk.

Jo Bryant shared a beautiful song written for International Women’s Day … you will love it, so follow the link http://song.unwomen.org/ and buy this wonderful song to celebrate women. Ailsa is focussing on IWD too this week, so this post joins with Ailsa’s celebration of women.

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16 thoughts on “International Women’s Day

  1. How inspiring that your community of women is so strong! I do hope I’ll find a like-minded community close to where I’ll eventually settle – that’d be something to look forward to 🙂

    • I am sure you will, after all, you feel drawn there … so there must be wonderful strong women like yourself already there … we have always said there are amazing strong women just here at Bingie … the land draws them … with Mother Gulaga in the south looking over us all … and so they attract others and it grows 😀

  2. I am really impressed that you had so much community participation. I’m sure that if I didn’t spend as much time as I do on the Internet I wouldn’t have been at all reminded today. That’s how minor the coverage seemed to be. That troubles me a lot. But your group is quite surprisingly inspirational in that I’m once again reminded that we are internationally connected in our strong beliefs that women need need to be protected against violence everywhere. I do love that one day is set aside, but it always leaves me wanting to see more focused attention every day. I know we all feel that way!

    • the women organising this event have been doing it for some years, they are generally left-leaning women, but are active in many aspects of community life 🙂

  3. A great IWD event – it comes across as very genuine. I’m glad you shared the photos – it was great to see the engagement, variety and colour of the women in the community you belong to 🙂

  4. Looks like a great meeting 🙂 I hope you have, in the past, taken the manufacturers of Fosters to task over their sexist adverts (a couple of bottles of sherry for the Sheilas).

    In the UK there are obviously still issues, but some of them are very much ‘on the other foot’ and it sometimes feels like we need an ‘International Mens Day’ 😉

    I’m pleased to hear about the past languages being spoken again – I hope that continues to develop. There have been too many languages and customs lost to the world. It’s all important to understanding who we are as a Human Race.

    Great photo-journalist images to complete the report too – looks like everyone had a great time!

    • thanks martin … photo journalist indeed, now i am smiling! i could not believe that i missed a photo of our guest speaker … you are right about language, i love to hear how certain things can only be expressed in one language or other … as if by having a word or expression for something it becomes more tangible … yes it is sad to lose our languages … and good luck to men, every day is men’s day, look how mothers love their sons! 😀

        • ps – must tell you a little story…

          Quite a few years ago, at our Union Conference, it was agreed to set up a Women’s Advisory Committee to provide guidance to the Union as a whole regarding women’s issues. Our Branch, despite having no female members at the time, fully supported the idea and even spoke in favour at conference. I recall that our Branch Chair christened it the Whikky-Whakky. One of the leading lights on the group challenged me on one occasion about this as she was upset by the term and thought that perhaps they weren’t being taken seriously. I was pleased to say “You should be proud – it means you’ve been accepted!” 🙂

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