Last Thursday was International Women’s Day, where the world celebrated women in all their social-standings and acknowledged the hurdles they’ve overcome and the ones they still need to jump to reach equality with men (in life, work, etc.) A purple ribbon and a million tweets marked the occasion on March 8, and conversation was generated over the watercooler about whether we do, in fact, have farther to go before we reach equal standing with men.
I attended the UN Women Sydney International Women’s Day breakfast last week, where guest speaker and former ABC Foreign Correspondent reporter Sally Sara gave a talk on her experiences in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sometimes it’s easy to slip into thinking we have it pretty great as women. But we’re very lucky in Australia, and Sally’s speech on the adversities women in Kabul face on a daily basis brought home to many of the 1700 guests, while we may not be struggling, our sisters in other countries are fighting for their lives (and livelihood) everyday. (Similarly, the Kony 2012social media campaign has raised this awareness).
Sally spoke of young women being afraid to go to the bathroom at night, for fear of attack, and of women working insane hours without receiving the appropriate reward. In fact, other speakers at the breakfast spoke of statistics such as women doing two-thirds of the world’s work but earning less than 10 per cent of the world’s income, and owning less than 1 per cent of the world’s land!
When speaking about what she learnt from her time spent with these incredible women, Sally said the top tip she took away was to ‘just get on with things’. She mentioned these women knew adversity and overcame it by just rolling up their sleeves and getting on with it – they knew no other way.
So while we tweet about #firstworldproblems, it would be wise and kind of us to spare a thought for the women in third world countries struggling to live day-to-day, let alone work their ways up the career ladder. Want to do your bit? Join UN Women by clicking here.
Tammi and the Stormettes.