The 2021 edition of International Women’s Day (IWD) represents a major milestone. This year marks 110 years since the first observance of IWD where more than a million women and men supporters rallied on 19 March 1911 in demonstrations held across Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
Originating from the labour-movement and long known as International Working Women’s Day, IWD has focused on achieving equal rights for working women across the world.
The event was first recognised by the United Nations in 1975 and now seeks to foster global solidarity among women and includes an annual thematic focus.
The corporate theme for 2021 is Choose to Challenge.
‘A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
‘We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
‘From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.’
Supporters are encouraged to raise a hand high ‘choose to challenge and call out inequality’ and post a photo and message on social media with the campaign hashtag #ChooseToChallenge.
The United Nations (UN) Women theme for IWD 2021 is ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.’
‘The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.’
‘Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.
‘The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.’
The CSIRO Staff Association supports women in science and CSIRO. From improving conditions, organising events and providing scholarships, the Association is proud to support the achievements of women in CSIRO.
This year the union is encouraging members to celebrate the 110th anniversary of IWD by attending community events, as well as engaging at the workplace level in locally organised CSIRO and Staff Association branded activities.
A year ago the Human Rights Commission released the Respect at Work report. The report made 55 recommendations for reform, including:
The Morrison Government has failed to act on the recommendations set out in the report.
CPSU is asking members and supporters to:
The ACTU has released a report detailing the issues that continue to face working women.
The report details the fall in Australia’s ranking on gender pay equity, the continued gender segregation of the workforce and the impact on Covid on women workers.
With a gender pay gap of 13.4 per cent, Australia now ranks 44th in the world for gender pay disparity.
Read the ACTU report here.
All times Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).
|6 – 12 March
|Limited access to Picture a Scientist documentary. A nuanced, emotional but unflinching portrait of the struggles women in science have faced and continue to face. Aimed at raising visibility around critical issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. For discussion guide, access link and password, register here.
|Tuesday 9 March
|Choose to Challenge panel discussion. Featuring Dr. Sarah Pearce, Acting Chief Scientist; Ms Toni Moate, Director of our National Collections and Marine Infrastructure; Dr. Denise Hardesty, Senior Principal Research Scientist for Oceans and Atmosphere and Dr Marzi Barghamadi, Experimental Scientist and Project Leader for Manufacturing. Hosted by Tanya Bowes and Brooke Everett. Register here.
This page will be regularly updated. Please note that due to Covid restrictions some events require registration. Local times unless otherwise specified.
|Monday 1 March
|Rally at Parliament Lawns. Focus includesCOVID recovery that works for women, gender pay inequality and sexual violence against women. March followed by BBQ lunch. Sign in required. More information here.
|Thursday 4 March
|Union Aid Abroad APHEDA IWD film night. Screening of Misbehaviour. Bookings essential. More information here.
|7 – 8.30am
|Friday 5 March
|IWD2021 Panel Discussion #ChooseToChallenge Breakfast event. Featuring Christine Marr, Pat Anderson, Rosie MacKay, Marianna Tolo and Sheena Ireland. At QT Canberra. More information here.
|Saturday 6 March
|IWD walk and celebrations. Meet Civic Centre Courtyard (Harry Chan Ave). More information here.
|Monday 8 March
|Back of NSW Parliament, hear speeches from women across the labour movement and women leaders and join the call for equality and justice. Registration essential due to Covid. More information here.
|Monday 8 March
|Meet Parliament House for march to State Library, after party at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. More information here.
|5 for 5.30pm start
|Monday 8 March
|IWD movie night at Trades Hall. Featuring the musical stylings of the Android Sisters + raffles, prizes and awesome guest speakers. Supported by TWU, CFMMEU and CSIRO Staff Association. More information here.
|9.30 – 10.45am
|Wednesday 10 March
|Our Lives, Our Futures: Gender equality in the age of COVID-19. Hosted by YWCA Canberra at ANU’s Kambri Cultural Centre. Documentary screening and panel discussion featuring Katherine Spitzkowsky, Helen Dalley-Fisher, Kat Reed and Lynnice Church. More information here.