By Ella Haddad MP,
Labor Member for Clark
FOR more than 100 years, people around the world have celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March.
On this day, we celebrate women who have changed our world for the better, and the women around us who contribute positively to our lives each and every day.
The theme of the 2020 International Women’s Day is: “Each for Equal.”
This theme emphasises the need for an equal world – one in which we are all responsible in some way for our own actions in creating a more equal society.
As Gloria Steinem put it, it is the collective efforts of all people who care about human rights which can really make a difference to creating change and increasing gender equality.
She said the story of women’s struggle for equality belonged to no single feminist nor to any one organisation, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.
Currently, working Australian women earn $242.90 per week less than men, putting the gender pay gap at 13.9 per cent for full-time workers.
When you put this into the perspective of our day-to-day lives, this tangible difference in income means meals on the table, school fees, or medical bills.
This income disparity is compounded by the thousands of hours each year spent by women performing unpaid labour, with more than 68 per cent of women having a primary carer role in their families.
We have so much to thank women for.
Ensuring our society has gender equality benefits every single one of us in the long term.
With this year’s theme of Each for Equal in mind, and the need for collective and individual action, I invite you to have a think about some of the things you can do to make our community more equal.
It could be as simple as being more kind to those around you or lending a helping hand to a neighbour or friend when needed.
It might look like being supportive of a work colleague taking parenting leave or ensuring your workplace is accessible to people of all abilities.
Caption: Ella Haddad with her mother Anne Ripper and daughters Charlotte and Lucy Nicholson.