International Womens Day

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.
Gloria Steinem, 1969

Hmmm, now where did I put my commitment to housework?

I love how old-fashioned this Gloria Steinem quote seems today. Women’s lives have changed dramatically over the past forty years.

This is especially true here in Australia, where women and men of my generation have grown up as equals.

Our notions of being held back are focused inward. We are self-reliant, independent and act with genuine ambition on our own terms. We are free to make our own choices, and spend our lives with people who encourage them.

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  • Ann Berlin says:

    08:09am | 05/10/12

    Joan Bennett your kind would shoot men if you could. I hope lightning kills you. Women do have a maternal instinct, its one of the strongest bonds in nature, like how elephants and whales care for their young, what is a myth is that they don’t. I bet you don’t… Read more »

  • Em says:

    03:53pm | 09/03/12

    Actually, AI, all things being equal… I would suggest that in sports they are already equal. Men and women have different physiology…  The fact that they are allowed to compete is an example of that equality. There was a very, very long time when women were banned from even going… Read more »

 

Today is a day to reflect on the progress made towards equality for women, but it is also a day to consider the road ahead.

I'll show you boys

We know that women are innovators who are increasingly making a serious impact in industry and in business. 

This is backed up by findings of the first national survey of women business owners and female entrepreneurs released this week.

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  • The Badger says:

    07:31pm | 08/03/12

    Yes Michael, The PM is allowing the miners to boom. Perhaps Hockey could show her where the levers are for the mining boom after he has found the levers for the bankers. Read more »

  • Michael R says:

    07:05pm | 08/03/12

    What’s the point when our female PM Julia Gillard is decimating the manufacturing (and finance) industry by allowing the mining boom to ramp up the dollar, and make our manufacturers uncompetitive? Read more »

 

We can vote, work and get an education. We can give birth or make the considered choice not to. We can marry, get divorced, have a public voice and write under our own names.

We've come a long way, but we've got new goals. Illustration: Nicholson.

Compared with the lives of many women that marched through the streets of New York City in 1908, planting the seeds for the first ever International Women’s Day, we’re living in another dimension. 

So what are we celebrating more than one hundred years later? And what are the real issues affecting the majority of Australian women today? Here’s what you, our readers, said yesterday.

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  • Kylia says:

    10:15am | 23/11/11

    Ho ho, who wuloda thunk it, right? Read more »

  • B says:

    03:18pm | 10/03/11

    Feminism is the act of swinging the Gender balance the other way so women have the power.  Just look at the world today.  It’s completely discrimatory to men.  Its even legislated and you tell me that Women complain its not equal for them? Read more »

 

The nation was stunned by the gruesome triple homicide in Kapunda last year. A husband, wife and their 16 year old daughter were each butchered by multiple stab wounds in their otherwise peaceful rural home. Also shocking was the neighbour who heard repeated screams of “help, help” and stated that he heard a woman who “sounded desperate to get away from someone” decided against calling the police. He believed it was probably just a domestic dispute.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still, no. 92, 1981.

On this, the 100th International Women’s Day, our country now has a female Prime Minister. We have a female Governor General. Three of the seven justices of the High Court are women.

These are some pretty good statistics. Here are some more: In Australia today one in three women experience physical violence after the age of fifteen. One in five experience sexual violence.

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Today marks the hundredth anniversary of International Women’s Day.  It is an occasion to celebrate the achievements of women, to reflect on how far women have progressed on the journey towards equality in the last century, but also to recognise that significant challenges remain, here and abroad. 

Compared to FGM, corporate representation is a first-world problem. Pic: AP

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Female Leadership and Political Participation” and, on this score, Australia has much to celebrate.  One hundred years ago, we were one of only three countries in the world that could boast women’s suffrage.

The significance of this achievement is evident when one reflects that Kuwait’s Parliament extended suffrage to women in 2005 and only then by a 35-23 vote, and in Saudi Arabia women are still deprived of voting rights. 

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  • Squeeze the Middle says:

    01:01pm | 09/03/11

    marley.  Isn’t Outraged really just saying: you Aussie women are just as bad as us Aussie men so drop the whole ‘it’s all because of men’ charade. If so then why the personal attack? Read more »

  • Tahera says:

    10:07am | 09/03/11

    St. Michael, you did very interesting observation. As you said ” Women are as much part of the system as the men are.” So to began with the facts are: First woman our mother Eve was created from the rib of Hazrat Adam. Secondly man and woman they both got… Read more »

 

I don’t think Germaine Greer would like my friends.

The woman who personifies the feminist movement of the 70s and makes every wife willing to iron her husband’s shirts feel like a feminist-traitor would certainly frown on my little circle of Mummy-friends.

Especially on International Women’s Day.

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  • AliceC says:

    09:29am | 10/03/11

    @Jugg How can you fight for something to be created? Who are you fighting against if you’re creating something yourself? @Squeeze Ok, so the vote was granted to the common man after they fought for it. My question is why did they only fight for common man to get the… Read more »

  • Squeeze the Middle says:

    01:08pm | 09/03/11

    papachango.  Isn’t Greer just repeating: I may not agree with what you’re saying but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it? Firstly: define mental illness? Secondly: even just the title of her book “The Female Eunuch” says it all. I.e. there are fulfiling alternatives to being… Read more »

 

With today being International Women’s Day, there will be millions of men around the world thinking – “This is so sexist! Where is my International Man’s Day?”

Heck, I used to be one of those people. I used to think that all the affirmative discrimination was sexist, backward and downright wrong. For my male friends nodding your head in agreement, I challenge you to read on, and to watch the above clip.

It has only been in recent years that my stubborn mindset has changed. I happily admit that I am no expert on this issue, but you don’t need to be an expert to realise that things need to change.

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  • Nixon says:

    07:32pm | 08/03/12

    I think you’re the one oversimplifying - no-one is agruging that men are not in any way vulnerable to discrimination, just that women are more vulnerable than men. We are used as baby-making machines, cum-dumpsters, sliced and diced by advertisers, ridiculed for even attempting things that are “for men”, in… Read more »

  • Nixon says:

    07:23pm | 08/03/12

    Oh my gosh, you poor thing! I think we should let all those male rapists ouf jail, just so there’s more equality… “I’ll worry about women in the third world, just as soon as men have equal rights in my own country.” TRANSLATION: “Dear women of the developing world: your… Read more »

 

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