It is International Women’s Day on Tuesday, 8th March when we celebrate the achievements of women and look at how much still needs to be done, especially in the field of human rights.
Most of us have believed that women are doing pretty well in Australia, and certainly we are when you look at their treatment in countries like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and India for instance.
In the last two years, however, thanks to brave and outspoken young women like Brittany Higgins, Chanel Contos and Grace Tame, we have learned that bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace is rife, that many young girls, and young boys, are taken advantage of by people they should be able to trust, while many men regard their wives as their property, mentally or physically abusing them and all too often even killing them.
Fifty years ago Gough Whitlam was swept to power when he campaigned under the slogan “It’s Time!” and he made huge changes for the good of society, including properly funding public schools, and by not charging fees for attending university.
It’s time for a huge cultural change in the way Australian society treats women. Governments can pass laws to help, but that alone will not solve the problem.
All of us, men and women, must ensure that children from an early age are taught, both by our actions and our words, that men and women are equal in every way and all deserve to be treated with consideration and respect.
We also need to ensure the subject is continually talked about, and perpetrators are called out and stopped, until we rid ourselves of this cancer in our society.
By Pam Nankivell
Visit www.internationalwomensday.com for more information on how to get involved.