NCJWA Board and Executive supportClean-Up Australia Day
Women's Day 2014
International Women's Day (IWD) is observed
across the world during the week of 8th March to celebrate women's progress towards equal
rights and safety from exploitation and violence. NCJWA
supports IWD and NCJWA members participate in IWD events around Australia.
Observing IWD allows us all to review
how far women have come in their struggle for equality and assess what still
needs to be done. It is also an opportunity for women to come together, network
and mobilise. Throughout March, organisations, governments,
educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media
participate in thousands of events around the world. Over
the last decades, United Nations women's conferences and the annual UN
Commission on the Status of Women in New York during March have strengthened
the advance of women's rights and women's increased participation in political
and economic arenas.
However millions of women around the world face
discrimination on a daily basis, discrimination that has life and death
consequences for them.
Baby girls' lives are threatened even before they are
born in societies that only value male babies and male children who can support
the family when they have grown. Baby girls are abandoned and left to die, unwanted
and seen as worthless.
Education for girls is considered a waste of time and
resources, and worse still, educated women are seen as a threat. Malala
Yousafzai has stood up for the right for girls to receive an education in
Pakistan, at great risk to her own life. At just 16 Malala has become an
inspiration to so many, addressing the United Nations and calling for free
education for all children world-wide.
Girls' lives are put at risk by female genital mutilation
and when they survive this abomination they are forced into submissive
relationships with little control over their own lives.
Girls are forced into arranged marriages at very young
ages. This is even happening in Australia today as we saw in the news last month.
Women and children are being trafficked around the world,
sexually exploited, in situations of forced labour or servitude.
Even women in first world countries face discrimination,
in pay rates and work conditions. In Australia today women are still paid over
17% less than men in average weekly earnings. Women's role as primary carer for
the young, the elderly, the disabled and chronically ill, leads to a gender gap
in savings and superannuation. Women are under-represented in leadership
positions in both the public and private spheres.
Violence against women in Australia is occurring at
alarming rates, with around one in three Australian women having experienced
physical violence and nearly one in five having experienced sexual violence
since the age of 15.
While we celebrate International Women's Day, let us not
forget the work that is still to be done. Let us remember that women and girls
around the world are counting on us, men and women, to strive for a better life
for all, free from violence, poverty and discrimination.
Events in Australia
UN Women Australia
are organising events in most capital cities. For details of these go to:
For an exhaustive
list of events in Australia:
Di Hirsh OAM Dr Anne Morris
National President Chair,
Status of Women