UN Women: International Womens Day 2017

9 March 2017

It’s that time of the year when women gather – with a smattering of men usually- to look back to where we’ve come from in the pursuit of gender equality, universal rights to education, health, economic security and equal pay and look forward to the future where so many of the women of this world are still caught in the struggle to just survive.  And yet again statistics bring despair and frustration to those of us well able to do something about it.

I was a guest of Konica Minolta Canberra with hostess for our table State Manager Nanette Bak who represents well the sentiments of her company to be at the forefront with their support of many issues, especially those affecting women. We were among many prominent groups, with  government departments, defence representatives, and national and local companies who make this a signature event on International Womens Day.

UN Women held this, their annual lunch for 1200, at the National Convention Centre with international guest speakers, Muniba Mazari , Pakistan’s UN Women Ambassador, Aleta Miller, Fiji’s UN Women Ambassador and journalist Tracey Spicer as MC for the event. It’s always  a formidable gathering of a diverse range of Canberrans from the upper echelons of government to the mums and bubs and school students who in their time will hopefully see major changes to so many issues that should have been resolved decades ago.

And that’s what’s at the core of this international day, the intent and ability to effect change more quickly, more effectively and without all the gnashing of teeth and feeling like we have so much further to go. It is incumbent on all our politicians to bring about equality across the board. It’s not just a word but an imperative.

Small changes can and do have a big impact on many societies, empowering women is the slogan for the next year but generosity by we who can afford it is where collectively and individually support should be directed.