INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day is celebrated around the world and here in Port Stephens there have been a variety of different activities to mark the occasion.
Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE
The Rotary Club of Salamander Bay held its third annual International Women’s Day luncheon at Soldiers Point Bowling Club which was attended by over 150 women with a few men braving the day as well.
The events guest speaker was Australia’s Rotarian of the Year and Member of the Rotary Club of Salamander Bay Wendy Stein OAM.
Wendy is involved in delivering life changing and life-saving programs in Papua New Guinea.
The Save the Kula Babies program does just that, it helps save babies from abandonment by their families through offering family planning information and implants which allow mothers to plan around the size of their families.
Wendy states, “The men are happy enough for the women to have the implants as long as it wont stop them from working.”
In the Papua New Guinea society it is the women that do much of the work.
The theme of the 2020 International Women’s Day event was Each for Equal.
Wendy is emphatic that our nearest neighbours and particularly the women in Papua New Guinea are not equal.
While there are a multitude of political issues surrounding Papua New Guinea there are basic health ones, child mortality is high and so to are deaths in childbirth.
Save the Kula Babies delivers safe birth kits so that women are not having their children born on a dirt floor.
Often these women give birth in grass huts in the dark or by firelight.
This is why we have International Women’s Day because unfortunately these women do not have what we have here and they deserve so much more.
Wendy has seen mothers of 14 pickaninny, the word for children in Papua New Guinea.
For Wendy to continue her work she needs the support of the Australian Community, family planning, safe birth and education are a start but these women need so much more.
Wendy Stein told News Of The Area, “We need a lot of help, these are our nearest neighbours and we are nowhere near equal, when ladies are having babies in the dirt, in grass unattended – losing their lives.
“The biggest killers are childbirth, we lose five women per day in Papua New Guinea and it is needless.
“Cervical cancer is the next biggest killer and we need help and money for a program to vaccinate against cervical cancer,” she said.
Wendy is modest about her work and simply wants to see a better life for the women living on our doorstep.
The event was MC’d by Rotarian and Tomaree Business Chamber President Leah Anderson.
Leah said, “Our club has been holding an event each year for the last 10 years to celebrate this very special day.
International Women’s Day celebrates all women, in all their diversities.
It is a celebration of those who came before us, those who stand beside us now, and those who will come after.
By Marian SAMPSON