International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th each year, an opportunity for women & men to celebrate Women’s achievements and strive for Women’s equality. IWD has become widely recognised as a day of activism and a highly recognised vehicle for change.
First started in the USA in 1909 as National Women’s Day, by 1911 International Women’s Day was being recognised with over a million women & men attending IWD rallies in multiple countries, campaigning for women’s right to work, vote, be trained, hold public office and end discrimination. It took until 1975 for IWD to be marked by the United Nations.
Some people have expressed opinions that in a country like Australia, IWD is unnecessary. It is true that Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902, but it took until 1920 for the first women to be elected to parliament and 2010 to have our first female Prime Minister. It wasn’t until 1969 that the principle of equal pay for equal work was first introduced and anti-discrimination on the basis of sex was only legislated in 1984.
Is gender based discrimination more of a history lesson in Australia? The Australian Human Rights Commission shared their Face the Facts: Gender Equality 2018 findings (https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/education/face-facts-gender-equality-2018). The average full time weekly wage for a woman in Australia was 15.3% less than a man’s. 1 in 2 mothers reported experiencing workplace discrimination as a result of pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work with 1 in 5 made redundant, restructured, dismissed or had their contract not renewed. Women also accounted for 70% of primary unpaid carers for children. The combination of less pay and more unpaid carer leave meant that the average superannuation balances for women aged 60-64 were only 58% of men’s. The 2016 census reported that the number of women over 55 experiencing homelessness had increased by 31%, lack of superannuation being a primary contributor to this issue.
The Australian Human Rights Commission, Face the Facts: Gender Equality 2018 also found that 1 in 2 women in Australia have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime, 1 in 3 have experienced physical or sexual violence and 1 in 5 have experienced violence by a partner.
So while Australia has come a long way in gender equality, there is still a long way to go.
The global theme for IWD 2023 is #EmbraceEquality. IWD does not belong to any one charity, country, corporation or network, it belongs to all groups collectively. IWD provides a platform to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias and seek out inclusion.
Roar Republic was established in 2019 with the aim to empower & inspire women. We want our customers to be confident, strong, happy and optimistic. Our range of Australian-made activewear, from sustainable materials is designed to look good and feel amazing, no matter what your shape and size. You deserve to live your best life and Roar Republic is here to help you.
To celebrate 2023 International Women’s Day Roar Republic are offering 20% off from 2nd March to 11th April, use code FOH20.