International Women’s Day and how women are awesome

Photo of author
Written By Rachel Innes

International Women’s Day (8th March) is a celebration of women’s achievements – social, economic, cultural and political. Below is a list of 8 outstanding achievements by women.

1. Women’s March

People marching in sydney
Image Copyright ABC 

The image of women marching against the background of the Trump inauguration started in Washington on 21 January quickly grew to become a worldwide movement.

The Women’s March crowd in Washington was three times larger than the inauguration crowd. In Sydney, around 5,000 people marched from Hyde Park to the US Consulate supporting women, minorities, and immigrants. Gatherings all over the US were said to be the largest demonstration in US history. The worldwide crowd was estimated at five million people in 82 countries.

2. All Female Crew

women gathered around a women holding a camera - crew of Below Her Mouth

Image Copyright MovieMaker

Released in 2016, Below Her Mouth is a film about two women who have an affair that quickly escalates. It is a celebration of women and the first film with a completely female crew.

The Canadian film was directed by April Mullin, written by Stephanie Fabrizi and produced by Melissa Coghlan. It was shown at this year’s QueerScreen film festival.

3. ‘Hidden Figures no more!’

Another exciting movie is Hidden Figures now showing in Australian cinemas. It follows three African-American women working for NASA in the 60s who were the engineering and math brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

This true story won the ‘Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture’ at the SAG awards. Taraji P Henson accepted the award alongside the cast. She said: “this film is about unity… three American heroes… focused on solutions – and what happens when we put our differences aside – love wins everytime… they are hidden figures no more!”

4. Volunteer of the year 2014

a photo of Karen sitting at her desk

Image Copyright SMH

Karen Lindley was the winner of NSW Volunteer of the Year in 2014 for her tireless work with Bravehearts, a charity helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Karen’s job is one of a kind, caring for and nurturing vulnerable people so they can tell their stories and seek justice.

5. Women in Comics

Posted by Sarah's Scribbles on Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Creative, funny and talented women are becoming more and more popular on social media – and comics are gaining particular attention.

Examples of women who are creating comedic web pages include Sarah Andersen, whose Sarah’s Scribbles features short comics of about five to eight panels each. Her topics are everyday life seen through her quirky lens. She is also releasing her second book this year.

A similar comic strip on Facebook which is quirky but a bit more magical is by Emily McGovernMy Life as a Background Slytherin. Emily creates comic strips that depict snippets of a Slytherin girl’s life.

A more political and informative comic is Assigned Male, about the experience of a transgender girl in the world. It is a continuous story following her character and the people in her life. The comic is written and drawn by Sophie Labelle who is trans herself. Sophie also creates learning guides and speaks at schools.

6. #SheHacks

The women of Victoria are getting together to celebrate women in tech in the #SheHacks Hackathon. The Geek Girl Academy has raised $1.3 million to run their Hackathon which will see 60 teams build, market test and pitch their minimal viable product.

The Geek Girl Academy is a worldwide organisation dedicated to women who want to learn tech and create startups.

Sarah Moran, Co-founder and CEO of Geek Girl Academy said: “It’s currently very challenging for women to find fellow founders, which is often crucial to starting and succeeding in a new tech venture. The #SheHacks Victoria program will provide multiple touchpoints throughout the year for women to find co-founders and receive valuable support for taking their business ideas to market.”

7. Linda Burney

Linda Burney is blazing a trail as the first Indigenous woman elected to Australia’s House of Representatives. In 2016, she won the Sydney seat of Barton and is one of only three Indigenous Labour parliamentarians. Hers is certainly is no tokenistic appointment – as she says: “I have enormous experience not just as a very senior politician from NSW but also as someone who’s worked in the community sector, in Government, and I’ve done work at the United Nations.”

8. ‘Nevertheless, she persisted.’

During the debate on whether to make Jeff Sessions the next Attorney General, I tried to read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate. The letter, from 30 years ago, urged the Senate to reject the nomination of Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship. The Republicans took away my right to read this letter on the floor – so I'm right outside, reading it now.

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday, 7 February 2017

This quote was repeated by others after US Senator Elizabeth Warren was cut off from speaking during a Senate session. Majority Leader Senator McConnell objected to what Warren was saying, and asked her to take her seat before she could quote Coretta Scott King on sexual violence. The reason she was silenced was that she had supposedly violated Senate rules against impugning another senator.

Senator Warren then left the chamber and streamed herself live, reading the words of Coretta Scott King. The phrase ‘nevertheless, she persisted’ was Tweeted repeatedly to inspire others to raise their voices.

“[Warren] was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” – Senate Majority Leader McConnell.

International Women’s Day is about celebrating women making changes – doing what they love, becoming equal, and most of all, being happy. We hope this snapshot of the achievements of some women helps you to see the power women have, because women are ‘persisting’.