Celebrating the progress of women in Australia
March 2, 2022
In the month of International Women’s Day, it is easy to focus on the negatives and talk about how much still needs to be done.
It is a day defined as being “about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action for women.” The first National Women’s Day was observed across the United States in 1911.
International Women’s Day was born out of the first wave of feminism, caught in the midst of the rise of radical ideologies and a period of booming expansion. Women everywhere were coming together for one cause: to gain equal legal rights.
As Gloria Steinem said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
However, as many focus on the issues and challenges, we think we need to recognise how much progress we have made in the past 100 + years.
What have we achieved in Australia?
1902 White women were given the right to vote
1903 Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Suffragettes
1914-1918 Women at work during the war movement to support our local economy
1922 Country Women’s Association (CWA) was founded
1942 The Australian Women’s Land Army was founded
1943 The first women were nominated to the House of Reps and Senate
1961 The contraceptive pill become available
1962 Indigenous women allowed to vote
1965 Government legislation allowed for women to drink in pubs.
1972 Conciliation and Arbitration Commission grants equal pay for men & women
1972 Federal Child Care act passes
1973 Paid maternity leave for Commonwealth employee
1974 Equal minimum wage granted
1975 Women can file for no-fault divorce
1977 Employment discrimination on the basis of gender is outlawed
1978 Reclaim the Night rallies to protest violence & sexual assault against women.
1979 Women employed full time entitled to 52 weeks of unpaid maternity leave
1987 First woman (Mary Genevieve Gaudron) appointed as High Court Judge
2008 First female governor-general – Dame Quentin Bryce
2010 Julia Gillard was sworn in as Australia’s first female prime minister.
2011 Australia’s first national paid parental leave scheme
2017 Launch of Women’s AFL league
2018 The Tampon tax repealed by the Australian Government
We have more work to do, there is no doubt but let’s time to look back and thank the women who paved the way for us to move forward.
And a special celebration and thank you to our women of Rivers for helping us make a difference in the lives of women in our team.