• Senator Michaelia Cash

    Senator Michaelia Cash

  • Tim Watts and Tanya Plibersek

    Tim Watts and Tanya Plibersek

  • Steve Barrow, Sam Watson and Sandra Capponi

    Steve Barrow, Sam Watson and Sandra Capponi

  • Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

  • Lulu Mitshabu, Donella Johnston and Andrea Dean

    Lulu Mitshabu, Donella Johnston and Andrea Dean

  • Linda Yan and Danny Fischer

    Linda Yan and Danny Fischer

  • Kate Mills, Alicia Lin and Belinda Collins

    Kate Mills, Alicia Lin and Belinda Collins

  • Yasmin Abdel-Magied, HelenConway, Virginia Haussegger and Julie McKay

    Yasmin Abdel-Magied, HelenConway, Virginia Haussegger and Julie McKay

  • Julia Diprose and Jan Hopkins

    Julia Diprose and Jan Hopkins

  • Jane Quick and Claire Wilson

    Jane Quick and Claire Wilson

  • Jackie Bryant, Gabriel Slattery, Emily Larkin and Tessa Slater

    Jackie Bryant, Gabriel Slattery, Emily Larkin and Tessa Slater

  • Helen McDevitt and Christina Janchek

    Helen McDevitt and Christina Janchek

  • Helen Conway, Julie McKay, Virginia Haussegger and Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Helen Conway, Julie McKay, Virginia Haussegger and Yassmin Abdel-Magied

  • Catherine McGrath

    Catherine McGrath

  • The forum panel....

    The forum panel....

  • Helen Conway

    Helen Conway

  • Julie McKay

    Julie McKay

  • At the podium Senator Michaelia Cash

    At the podium Senator Michaelia Cash

  • Moderator.....Virginia Haussegger

    Moderator.....Virginia Haussegger

  • Yassmin Abdel-Magied

    Yassmin Abdel-Magied

  • Virginia Haussegger and NPC Chief Executive Maurice Reilly

    Virginia Haussegger and NPC Chief Executive Maurice Reilly

  • A team picture for the opposition

    A team picture for the opposition

  • Julie Collins, Kate Ellis Moksha Watts and Jenny Macklin

    Julie Collins, Kate Ellis Moksha Watts and Jenny Macklin

  • International Women's Day speakers, Virginia Haussegger, Senator Michaelia Cash, Julie McKay, Helen Conway and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

    International Women's Day speakers, Virginia Haussegger, Senator Michaelia Cash, Julie McKay, Helen Conway and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

  • Mark Dreyfus.

    Mark Dreyfus.

  • Joyce Lawrence, Jelena Nenezic and Robyn Nolan

    Joyce Lawrence, Jelena Nenezic and Robyn Nolan

  • Peter McNamara and Richard Schutte

    Peter McNamara and Richard Schutte

International Women's Day Forum @ NPC

4 March 2015

“Just get on with it” said Helen Conway, the soon to be former Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, from which she’ll retire in a week, but this last missile across the bows of stakeholders in the ongoing efforts to make equality a reality was perhaps the one she’s wanted to fire for some time.

The occasion was the annual International Women’s Day Forum at the National Press Club with a preamble from Senator Michaelia Cash, Minister assisting the PM for Women and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, followed by the Forum where Virginia Haussegger moderated for speakers Yassmin Abdel-Magied the Queensland Young Australian of the Year, Julie McKay Executive Director of UN Women Australia and Helen Conway.

The UN Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing in 1995 and the document on the aspirations of that conference is a mighty formidable one that is available online and lists the strategic action required in critical areas of concern. And no we’ve not come a long way since then. 2015’s International Women’s Day is tagged as Beijing + 20 saying let’s not wait another 20 years for gender equality. Well with the pay gap now at 19% and domestic violence on everyone’s radar as a woman is murdered every week by an intimate partner, our near neighbours in the South Pacific region have had little improvement in the last 30 years in so many basic areas, it does make you wonder how we can just get on with it. We should have started decades ago teaching our children, exposing the failings in our communities and finding the courage to actually make things change as it is incumbent on us all to just get on with it! 

Lets start with that pay gap, then make gender equality a reality.