EMILY: Good morning MSM staff, students, and Ms Volp.
Tomorrow, Mt St Michaels, along with the rest of the world, will celebrate International Women’s Day. On this day, we acknowledge and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We tend to use this celebration to fangirl over our feminist idols like Emma Watson, who helped launch HeForShe, a campaign for the advancement of gender equality, as well as serving as an ambassador for Camfed International, a movement to educate girls in rural Africa.
BREEZE: But International Women’s Day is a multifaceted day, which serves several purposes. Whilst we can celebrate our favourite female leaders and feminist achievements, this day also marks a call to action for acceleration of women’s equity. We must acknowledge the compounded challenges faced by women of colour, those with disabilities, and queer or trans women, as well as those living in countries who may not be able to celebrate out of fear for their safety. We stand in partnership with each of these strong and independent individuals as it is important for us to recognise how blessed we are within our community in relation to education opportunities and our rights.
EMILY: The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Embrace Equity, which calls to mind both the progress and shortfalls of gender equity in society. Whereas once women couldn’t vote, we’re now leading countries. While we once faced restrictions on where we worked, we’re now running corporations. In Australia, we now have rights our grandmothers could only have dreamed about. BUT this is not the case for everyone. 47 countries have no repercussions for husbands who rape their wives and 30% of women globally have experienced sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Australia, and the world has come a long way, but there is so much more to be done, and we must recognise this.
BREEZE: Whilst we are being called to empower women, we have to understand that the rise of women is not about the fall of men. We are being asked to embrace equity, and to do that, we must be just to everyone.
EMILY: On a day so special as International Women’s Day, it is important for us to thank the amazing strong and independent women in our lives for all that they do. We can thank our teachers, mothers, grandmothers, caregivers, coaches, sisters, friends and girlfriends, all of which are individually unique and special to us. Today, I want to recognise and appreciate the amazing community of strong, independent women we have here at MSM. The teachers, the support staff and the students who are my everyday role models. I look up to so many of you as you all hold qualities and traits which I aspire to have.
BREEZE: International Women’s Day can serve as a reminder for us to extend our gratitude toward the women that we may not thank daily, perhaps family members. This week, I will ensure to thank my mum for her unwavering support, who inspires me to be determined and reminds me that I can achieve all that I aspire to.
Over the course of the week, Em and I want to challenge you to recognise, and thank, the women who you deeply appreciate in your life. Your forms of gratitude could take the form of a letter or a few kind words, an act of service, a gift, or some quality time. This celebration is a sign of appreciation, respect, and love toward those in our personal lives.
EMILY: For us, the greatest importance is to inspire all of you to be women of compassion and to encourage you to embrace equity, and to love without limits. You are all capable of such great things and inspire us to strive to be better people daily.
Have an amazing International Women’s Day tomorrow and we look forward to seeing how you decide to Embrace Equity.