Celebrating International Women’s Day – Jennifer Oaten Principal
Fadzi Whande was born in Zimbabwe and had a challenging time while growing up having experienced abuse. She could have chosen to spend her life reflecting on these difficult times but instead decided to focus on making a difference in the world.
She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion and currently works at the University of Western Australia. We were privileged to have Fadzi as our guest speaker for our International Women’s Day (IWD) Assembly. She shared with us the importance of considering that every person in the room has a unique story and how we can stand stronger when we have a united voice.
Who is the woman in your life who means the most to you? We should celebrate these significant women in our lives who might not receive the thanks or recognition they deserve. International Women’s Day is a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and highlights the barriers that continue to perpetuate gender inequality. The focus for IWD 2019 ‘Balance for Better’ aims to help forge a more gender-balanced world.
The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911 when more than one million women and men attended rallies in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Women demanded the right to vote and hold public office, the right to work and receive training, and an end to discrimination against women.
We often hear stories of inspiring, brilliant women who appear to have it all on International Women’s Day, so it is easy to forget that it began as a fight for the rights of ordinary women all around the world. Many women before us have shown great courage and determination to lead change in their countries and their communities.
Females and males need to unite to demonstrate shared ownership because gender equality belongs to us all, not just females or particular organisations, but all members of our community who care about human rights. Males as advocates and champions of change play a key role in accelerating women’s equality.
We hope for a world where every girl can exercise her choice to receive an education, have a career in her chosen field, earn an equitable income, participate in politics and live in a society free from violence and discrimination. We encourage all our girls to have a voice in what still needs to change to improve the lives of many women and girls around the world.