International Women’s Day (February 8th March) is an interesting day which is marked in a variety of different ways in different cultures. In parts of Europe it is like a combination of St. Valentines and Mother’s day; women receive gifts from their partners and children. Here in Australia it is viewed as a time to take special notice of women and issues that may affect them in particular. This year the official UN theme was “A promise is a promise: end violence against women”, and the theme according to internationalwomensday.com: “The Gender Agenda: gaining momentum”. For the UNE Women’s Society (UNEWS), it was an excellent opportunity to reach out to the university community and introduce ourselves. We held a free afternoon tea, and one of our members, Kate Wood, hosted a special on the UNE student radio station Tune!FM.
The turnout was good, and it was great to touch base with the wider community at UNE. For me it was a real eye-opener, to meet so many wonderful women with fascinating and diverse backgrounds. We hope to organise many more events like this throughout the year, which give women the opportunity to come together with a sense of positivity.
It’s been an incredible experience being part of the creation of the women’s group. There has been so much positivity, so many skilled and competent women willing to donate their time and energy. At the afternoon tea it became clear that many of the issues we had been discussing were also of concern to other women at the university. This is important to us as we are the women’s group; we are not founded upon an ideology. It is important for us to represent the real women of this university community, and to create events and campaigns that are relevant to this university.
If you are interested in future UNEWS events in the future, becoming a member, or want to keep abreast of our activities, find us on facebook by searching “UNEWS” or “University of New England Women’s Society”. You can also email the management committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Milly Roberts, UNEWS President