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Welcome to our International Women's Day bulletin
This email celebrates International Women's Day 2019.
Welcome to our International Women’s Day edition of e-News! Although we work every day towards raising the voices of women with disabilities, we know how important it is to stop and acknowledge the strength and wisdom of women everywhere, especially women with disabilities. International Women’s Day gives us a great chance to do this, while focusing in on particular opportunities for change. With this year’s theme #BalanceforBetter, we focus on working towards gender balance in society. For us that means thinking about how to create gender balance by acknowledging the specific barriers faced by women with disabilities. Imbalance between women and men with disabilities shows up across many areas of life from freedom from violence, to the opportunities to get an education or a job.
Balance is not easy to come by, and it will take more than one day of action for all of us. I encourage all of you to spend this year looking at imbalances and having brave conversations about what real change will mean, whether it’s in your community, your home, your school or your work. If you’d like to talk to us about how to create change, please get in touch! You can reach out through our office or through social media to keep the conversation going.
In the meantime, enjoy the day and don’t forget to celebrate the strong women with disabilities around you.


International Women's Day celebrates the cultural, social and political accomplishments of women worldwide. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality, and what is yet to achieve. This year's theme is #BalanceforBetter; the focus is on striving towards a gender balanced world.  Australia's theme is 'More Powerful Together', and recognises the role we all (women, men, gender diverse and non-binary) play in ensuring women are safe, healthy and respected.
UN Women is the branch of the United Nations responsible for 'promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality and was established to accelerate progress to meet the needs of women and girls worldwide'. UN Women’s theme for IWD 2019 is ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’.


In 1908, garment workers in New York staged a protest against working conditions.
In 1909, the first National Women's Day was recognised on February 28 by the Socialist Party of America.
In 1910, at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen,  the leader of the German Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party, Clara Zelkin raised the idea of an International Women's Day.  The proposal received unanimous agreement from more than 100 women representing seventeen countries.
In 1911, International Women's Day was recognised for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19. Through rallies and marches, both women and men demanded women's right to work and training, end to discrimination, and right to vote.
In 1913-1914 International Women's Day became a way to protest World World I and express solidarity to those affected by war. led by the Russians.
In 1917, during the Russian revolution, women in Russia underwent a strike for "Bread and Peace" on the last Sunday in February (which translated to March 8 in the Gregorian calendar). Four days later, the temporary Government brought in after the Czar abdicated passed women's right to vote. In 1975, the United Nations began celebrating International Women's Day on March 8th.

IMAGE: Silhoutte of a lady facing right. The silhouette is black but her voluminous hair is purple. With her purple hair as background, text reads International Women's Day. Down on the left is the date March 8.

Australia first celebrated International Women's Day in the 1920s. The celebration was formalised in 1928 with the first IWD rally organised by  Militant Women’s Movement of the Communist Party of Australia. During WWII, Australian women began lobbying for greater employment rights.

In 1975, Intermational Women's Year, Gough Whitlam's government supported an array of events with women as the focus, with a standout being the Women and Politics Conference.

International Women's Day is officially recognised in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.


Below is a selection of three events happening on March 8 to celebrate International Women's Day.

3CR is hosting a 24 hour broadcast with female-identifying presenters joined by activists and artists to talk about issues affecting women. Tune in to 855AM or visit the 3CR Website to view the schedule.

Outside the State Library of Victoria from 5:30pm - 6:30, the International Women’s Day rally will occur. The political demands include: 
  • Justice for First Nations peoples, Indigenous workers’ rights, and land rights
  • An end to all forms of violence against women and children
  • An end to all imperialist wars
  • An end to racism
  • Access to permanent residence and citizenship rights for all refugees and migrant workers
  • Secure and decent employment for all, and equal pay for equal work
  • A living wage for all women in all industries
  • The right to organise unions and take collective action, including industrial action and solidarity action, free from violence, intimidation, and legal harassment
  • Health and safety at work, just compensation, and rehabilitation
  • Paid parental leave and affordable childcare
  • Full rights and freedom from violence for people of all sexual orientations
  • Full rights and freedom from violence for trans and gender diverse people
  • Full rights and freedom from violence for intersex people
  • Listen to sex worker peer organisations, and support the rights, health, and safety of sex workers, including the full decriminalisation of all forms of sex work
  • Justice for people with disabilities - freedom from violence, full access to public spaces, and an end to all forms of discrimination
  • Full reproductive rights for all women
  • Free and accessible healthcare for all
  • Affordable housing for all
  • Social security and a just welfare system
  • Free and accessible education for all; and,
  • An end to environmental destruction, and compensation for all victims worldwide.
For more information, visit the 'International Women's Day 2019 rally and march' Facebook event page.

The International Women's Development Agency is holding a fundraiser with spoken word artists and local musicians. 

Cost: Entry $10

Time: Doors open 6:30pm

Location: Voltaire, 14 Raglan St, North Melbourne

Read more information about She Party X Femme Fest

For more events visit the official International Women's Day website or EventBrite

INTRODUCING THE IWD PHOTO COMPETITION 2019 This competition encourages the celebration of female diversity and hopes to challenge dispel gender stereotypes. Participants need to download the EyeEm appEnter the Inaugural IWD Photo Competition.  Competition closes March 31, 2019.

When posting about International Women's Day, use the hashtag #BalanceforBetter, #internationalwomensday or #IWD2019

Photograph yourself and your friends doing the official #BalanceforBetter pose or download these Powerpoint slides and be captured making a pledge this international Women's Day.

For more activities and resources visit the official International Women's Day website.

REFLECTING ON GENDER EQUALITYAn article published in Insight this week takes stock of the health and wellbeing of women and girls in this country', and how the Australian Government can better ensure females are included at each level of policy development. The article reviews the current priorities of the Office for Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade  Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Strategy.

Read the full article.

QUOTE: "Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. "
QUOTE: "At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think we can." - Frida Kahlo

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