Some countries see it as a day to celebrate the political and economic achievements of women, and for others it's a day to show respect and affection towards women – but why should you celebrate IWD on Sunday 8th March?
1. It’ll Spark Your Passion
This year’s theme is Make It Happen. You may ask, “Make what happen?” Get creative! Maybe you want to improve economic gender equality. Maybe you want to study in a field traditionally dominated by men. Maybe you’re passionate about improving issues affecting Queensland women, like abortion law. Get passionate, get proactive, and make it happen.
2. It’ll Get You Thinking Locally…
Did you know 40 out of 150 Members of Parliament and 29 out of 76 Senators in federal Government are women? On International Women's Day, celebrate the achievements of women in Australian politics, but also think about why the number of women in government at federal, state, and local levels are so much lower than numbers of men.
3. … And Globally
The first International Women's Day was held to mark a women worker's strike. Since then, conditions for factory workers in some countries have improved drastically, but the changing face of the global economy means that many women are disproportionately affected negatively by the effects of a globalised economy. International Women's Day is a time to reflect on the past and recognise the vital role that women play in the global workforce, and learn more about what we can do to improve conditions for women workers the world over.
4. You’ll Wear Purple
International Women’s Day is the perfect day to get decked out in fabulous purple! Dating back to 1908 when it was used by the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Great Britain, purple is a traditional feminist colour. It symbolises justice and dignity - two values strongly associated with women's equality. Some prominent women’s rights advocates are noted for wearing lots of purple: Australian feminist and advocate Dale Spender exclusively wears purple clothes, shoes, and accessories!
5. Equal Division of Work in the Household
According to OECD figures for 2014, Aussie women are still doing much more unpaid work than men: 311 minutes compared to 172 minutes.This type of work includes things like housework, grocery shopping, and taking care of other members of the household (including children) – all super important things! On International Women's Day, and indeed every day of the year, think about what you can do to reduce the amount of unpaid labour that the women in your household do.
6. Women are More Likely to Experience Poverty than Men
A 2014 report by the Australian Council of Social Services says that “women are significantly more likely to experience poverty than men”, and shows that 14.7% of Australian women live in poverty. International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the economic achievements of women, but let it also be a reminder that the playing field has not been levelled for all women in this country.
7. How far Have We Come in Gender Equality Around the World? How Far to go?
2015 marks the year by which the United Nations sought to have its Millennium Development Goals completed by, and many of these apply specifically to women. How have we progressed on issues such as promoting gender equality and empowering women (Goal 3) and improving maternal health (Goal 5)? How about things that aren't directly targeted at women but that disproportionately affect them, like achieving universal primary education (Goal 2)? On International Women's Day, get educated about women around the world.
8. Acknowledge the Achievements of Australian Women
2015 is off to a great start for gender equality – the four recipients of the Australia Day honours were all women. Our Australian of the Year is Rosie Batty, family violence advocate; Senior Australian of the Year is author Jackie French; Drisana Levitzke-Gray, deaf advocate, is Young Australian of the Year; and Australia’s Local Hero is social entrepreneur Juliette Wright. International Women’s Day is the perfect day to recognise this amazing fact, and learn more about the reasons why these incredible women have received these honours.
Drisana Levitzke-Gray Young Australian of the Year. Photo: 7 News
9. The Annual International Women’s Day Breakfast
And finally: UQU is hosting a fantastic breakfast on Monday March 9th to mark International Women’s Day, and we would love to have you come and celebrate with us! We’ll have some exciting guest speakers, opportunities to mingle and chat with a range of like-minded people from the UQ and Brisbane community, and a delicious buffet breakfast. Come and share with us how you plan to make it happen this International Women’s Day!
Why will you be celebrating International Women's Day on Sunday 8th March? Let us know below.