INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day (IWD) is being celebrated in Port Stephens at a lunch organised by the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay on 6 March at Soldiers Point Bowling Club.
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This years’ guest speaker is Gemma Sisia who works with children in Africa at the school of St Judes.
Council will be awarding three $1000 scholarships to Women living in Port Stephens at the lunch.
The scholarship program is designed to support local women and the contribution they make to our community across a range of fields.
The first IWD was held in 1911, and more than a million people turned out to rallies in Europe.
For most of the 20th century IWD was acknowledged and celebrated by people at the grassroots level, a rallying point for social justice.
It wasn’t until 1975 – International Women’s Year – that the United Nations adopted IWD on March 8, when it is still held.
IWD is a day to recognise how far we’ve come towards gender equality, and also how far we have left to go.
Once women couldn’t vote, they are now leading countries.
In countries such as Australia we have rights, but we still don’t have complete equality.
The majority of the world’s women aren’t anywhere near as close to that goal as we are.
In Australia women and girls make up just over half (50.7 per cent) of the Australian population and roughly 47 per cent of all employees.
There is a gender pay-gap of 15.3% in Australia.
Women take home on average $251.20 less than men each week, and on average, Australian women have to work an extra 56 days a year to earn the same pay as men for doing the same work.
Australian women account for 68% of primary carers for older people and people with disability.
95% of primary parental leave (outside of the public-sector) is taken by women and women spend almost three times as much time taking care of children each day, compared to men.
In 2017, Australia was ranked 35th on a global index measuring gender equality, slipping from a high point of 15th in 2006.
Ina George President of the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay told News Of The Area, “Everyone is welcome to attend this event. Calling myself on 0412 846 265 or Janelle on 0419 610 660.”
“You can support the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay Vaccination Program for girls in Papua New Guinea with a $5 donation and by buying raffle tickets on the day,” she said.
IWD promotes positive change and equality for women, not only in Australia but across the world.
By Marian SAMPSON