EACH for equal sounds simple but there is a great divide between what each woman has and equality.
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For many years’ women have been seeking equality, better rights, equal pay, and the access to opportunities that men have.
Unfortunately we are still on a journey towards equality, that’s why International Women’s Day is so important.
Women in some nations are worse off than the women here, however we still do not have equality.
This year Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson and Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington hosted an International Women’s Day event to celebrate all that we have achieved and to support women in our community.
230 women and a few men attended the event which was held at Murrook Cultural Centre at Williamtown.
Meryl Swanson, Member for Paterson told News Of The Area, “This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Each for Equal: Working toward a gender equal world’.
“In my job as the federal representative for the electorate of Paterson, I witness and meet many hardworking, passionate and powerful women making a difference – in Parliament and in our community.
“Their knowledge, drive and dedication to their given field is unparalleled.
“But I also see women who are disadvantaged by illness, poverty and mental health.
“Unbelievably, older women are the fastest growing number of Australians experiencing homelessness and one woman a week is still dying at the hands of a current or former partner. “While we celebrate the achievements of women in Australia, we also recognise there is still a long way to go.
“On International Women’s Day, we stand in solidarity to empower and support our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends, working toward a gender equal world,” she said.
Parliament is just one place where women are underrepresented and it is not that long ago that our minister for women was a man.
Clearly there is more to do; women retire with less superannuation, are paid less for doing the same job and are often thrown into the role of carer for not only their own families but their extended families as well.
Interestingly, the youth representatives at the event, answering panel questions were nearly all inspired by their parents, particularly their mums.
The event raised funds which will support groups that help women around the region including the Yacaaba Centre which assists women living under the shadow of domestic violence.
A chilling reminder of the need for change in this for women as the event coincided with the memorial service for Hannah Baxter who was murdered in an act of domestic violence in Brisbane, alongside her three children by her estranged partner.
By Marian SAMPSON