Celebrations for International Women’s Day
8 March 2012 at 10:21 am
International Women’s Day is celebrating the economic, political and social importance of women today with major events and conversations across the country.
From the installation of a specially commissioned sculpture of one of Australia’s most famous women, newly sainted Sister Mary MacKillop, to calls for women to remain vigilant about representations of women in society through music, videos and advertising.
At Melbourne General Cemetery an intricate, bronze, life-sized sculpture of Sister Mary MacKillop is being installed as part of the Saint Mary of the Cross Mausoleum.
It will provide a focal point at Melbourne’s most historic cemetery, located adjacent to the Prime Ministers Garden, being the final resting place of Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, James Henry Scullin, Sir John Grey Gorton and the memorial to Harold Holt.
The sculptor is internationally acclaimed, Julie Squires, recent Newton-John award-winner and sculptor of the Peter Brock Memorial.
Women’s Health is calling for women to remain vigilant so that the gains that have been made by women in Victoria are not lost.
Executive Director of Women’s Health Victoria, Rita Butera, said: "This is a day of celebration for women, but we still have a long way to go."
"We have to make sure that we don’t take progress towards gender equality for granted," Butera said .
"We also need more men to advocate for gender equality," Butera said. "Women and men need to challenge the sexism we see around us and work together towards equality. Only then will we see real change."
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) is marking United Nations International Women’s Day with a celebration of women from the Australian audiovisual industry. The NFSA’s Sounds of Australia Registry includes historical highlights from the past 100 years, including key performances and speeches by important Australian women.
As well a national movement is underway to increase gender diversity in the resource, allied and construction sectors.
The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is ramping up its efforts to increase women’s participation and provide employers with a key competitive advantage – strength through workforce diversity.
“IWD marks the perfect opportunity to launch the AWRA ‘Way Forward’ paper, which will raise awareness about the significant benefits to be derived from making our workforce more gender diverse,” said Minna Knight, AWRA spokesperson and director of the Australian Mines and Metal Association (AMMA).
“We acknowledge there are certainly barriers to be overcome but the potential economic and productivity returns are significant. The Way Forward paper makes a powerful case for gender diversity to become a key strategic business goal.
“This paper is a call to action and outlines how we can facilitate the appropriate cultural change, promote best practice workplace policies and strengthen and unite the various women’s networks and employers across Australia towards the goal of attracting and retaining more women in our workforce.”
The participation of women in the resource, allied and construction sectors is currently16% with the campaign aiming to raise it to 25% by 2020.
UN Women Australia has called on governments, organisations and individuals to take personal responsibility for their part in helping achieve gender diversity in workplaces.
Executive Director of UN Women Australia, Julie McKay, said a new campaign would personalise the issue of equality for people and build awareness about the importance of working for companies that support flexible workplace practices and women’s leadership.
Find out about events across Australia at www.internationalwomensday.org.au
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