The IEU and its members – 76.9% of whom are women – took the opportunity to celebrate progress and focus on the future, writes journalist Monica Crouch.
Culminating in International Women’s Day on 8 March, IEU members and organisers gathered in Bathurst and Parramatta to recognise gains and contemplate the task ahead.
With 131 million girls around the world unable to attend school regularly and gendered violence at the centre of Australia’s national conversation, this was not a time for mincing words.
“Collectively we can take responsibility for change and bring about a more equal world,” said IEUA Assistant Federal Secretary Christine Cooper, in a keynote address at an IWD dinner in Bathurst. “Try making this your feminist agenda: find your why, know your values, use your voice, take action.”
The dinner, attended by about 80 people, including members and students (both girls and boys), was an initiative of the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
“I was so impressed with the students,” Cooper said. “They’re highly engaged with the concept of IWD and they’re keen to change the world. They give us hope.”
Those attending matched their words with action, raising funds for Share the Dignity, a charity that supplies pads and tampons to women in need.