International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements which have been made for women, and also to reflect on what still needs to be done. So, it’s a bit of a mixed feeling to say ‘Happy’ International Women’s Day. We love this year’s theme – Be Bold for Change – because it articulates an action we can all get behind. Let’s be bold – let’s not sit by for more of the same and be content with the (wonderful) successes that have been achieved, and let’s get motivated about inequality and injustices that we see. The changes of the past have happened because people have been bold, agitated, gathered other people around them for a cause and, often, shown real courage and perseverance.

In our own patch at Leichhardt Women’s we’re involved in advocating for stronger women’s and girls’ services and on a daily basis in standing up where we can for the rights of women and girls who are our clients – the vast majority of whom are experiencing disadvantage and barriers to fairness and a fulfilling life. But there’s a whole system of structural issues from funding of women’s services, the unacceptable and unchanged rates of violence against women, the issue of underrepresentation of women on boards and in leadership positions, to low numbers of women in politics, the portrayal of women in the media and the inequitable pay gap that shows there is so much to be done, even in this comparatively privileged Western society in which we live.  And what benefits women benefits the whole community – transcending gender, socio-economic and cultural background and life experiences.

The theme for this year’s United Nations International Women’s Day Be Bold for Change is focusing on Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030.

Last year, organizations and individuals around the world supported the #PledgeForParity campaign to value women and men’s contributions equally.

But the World Economic Forum predicts the gender pay gap won’t close entirely until 2186. The world can’t afford to wait another 170 years for women to achieve parity in the workplace.

For more information about this important international campaign #BeBoldForChange go here:

www.ey.com/gl/en/issues/business-environment/women-fast-forward

“Measures that are key to ensuring women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work must include bridging the gender pay gap, which stands at 24 per cent globally; recognizing women’s unpaid care and domestic work and addressing the gender deficit in care work; as well as addressing the gender gaps in leadership, entrepreneurship and access to social protection; and ensuring gender-responsive economic policies for job creation, poverty reduction and sustainable, inclusive growth.”  Source: unwomen.org

For more information about what we’re doing to protect and grow women’s and girls services, go to www.soswomensservices.com.

We wish you all a happy and reflective International Women’s Day 2017 and a year in which we all are motivated to #BeBoldforChange.

Roxanne McMurray
Manager, Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre

 

 

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