International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, marked annually on 8 March. Established at the start of the 20th century, and growing out of the labour and suffrage movements, the day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality worldwide.
This year’s IWD theme #EmbraceEquity focuses the lens on understanding the differences between equality and equity. Equality ensures that each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities whereas equity recognises that each person has different circumstances, and that resources and opportunities may need to be allocated to reach an equal outcome.
Some of our Charles Perkins Centre members reflect on International Women’s Day, on their personal and professional experiences, the barriers they've met and support they've received, and how equality and equity are still very much part of the ongoing conversation to redress disparity.
"Equality – treating everyone the same – is often seen as a traditional Australian value. However, the reality is that we live in an unfair world, where there can be multiple barriers that stop some groups – women, or people of different ethnicities, different sexualities, different religions – from thriving. Tackling those barriers means that we are tackling inequity.
Now, that should be an Australian value as well."
"It is critical to embrace and to sustain equity for women and to provide an equitable environment enabling successful career progression and the rise of future women leaders.
We need to enthusiastically embrace equity in higher education, to consider all women including those who feel less visible such as women who are culturally and linguistically diverse."
“For me, embracing equity is empowering all (women) to reach their full potential.
I have had many supporters during my career at the Charles Perkins Centre, and I thank them all. I try, in any way I can, to support others in the same way.”
“I am lucky to live and work in a society that has gender equity as a committed objective. This great fortune is not shared by all women in other countries. We must continue to shout out in solidarity if we want to achieve equality for all.”
"For equity, we need to ensure there is an equal number of females across all roles and disciplines beyond gender-specific roles."
"When I reflect on the opportunities and the people who have paved the way to my path, I am overwhelmed with the deepest sense of gratitude. I am an example of how equity can transform one’s life.
All the good things in my life are the result of hard work, courage and a lot of support. I am very aware of 'my luck' but I dream of a day when 'luck' in no longer necessary."