Since 1977, the United Nations International Women’s Day has been held in March.

Not only does this day mark women’s rights, gender parity and world peace, but also celebrates and recognises the economic, political and social achievements of women around the globe. In many countries, International Women’s Day is even celebrated as a national public holiday.

MCCSA joined in the global celebrations on 8 March 2017 , with over 70 community representatives attending a free morning tea held at the MCCSA hall. Guests were treated to a presentation by the President of the Russian Women’s Association of SA,  Lily Michailov,  on how International Women’s Day is celebrated in Russia. There was, live music by Indigenous guitar performer Nancy Bates,  and a photo exhibition of women from around the globe “Atlas of Beauty” by photographer Mihaela Noroc. “Atlas of Beauty” is a world-wide exhibition promoting global diversity captured through portraits of women. Guests included Multicultural Affairs Minister Zoe Bettison MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Jing Lee MLC, and South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Chair Grace Portolesi.

Although we celebrate the day, we cannot be complacent. Despite all the efforts of women past and present, gender imbalance still exists, many patriarchal societies still unwilling to acknowledge gender equality and many women still oppressed into secondary status. We must remember the struggle that women faced throughout the centuries in gaining basic rights that are taken for granted in developed countries.

We must acknowledge and give our support to those women whose rights are denied in many developing countries: the right to vote, to own property, to have an education. We must reflect on the work that remains and remember the many women whose voices go unheard and who continue to be denied realising their full potential. This is why International Women’s Day is important: it gives otherwise silenced women a voice.

For information on this group, please contact Lena Gasparyan on 8345 5266.