Celebrating women

A GLOBAL day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, International Women’s Day events were held across the shire last Thursday.

This year, the day coincides with a strong call-toaction to press forward and progress gender parity globally, with a theme of #PressForProgress

The theme aimed to encourage individuals and communities everywhere to think, act and be gender inclusive to accelerate gender parity.

Gippsland Women’s Health, Sale, celebrated the day with a party; morning tea, a photobooth, a graffiti board with messages of empowerment, displays of the work GWH undertakes across the region, and screenings of ‘Make the Link’ — a video on preventing men’s violence against women through gender equality — were all on offer.

The staff used the day to educate people in the region and showcase the work the organisation does to promote and enhance the health and wellbeing of Gippsland’s women.

Following on from International Women’s Day, the organisation participated in the 40 Years Strong social media campaign this week, celebrating the contribution of women to women’s health services in Victoria for the past 40 years.

The campaign ran from Tuesday until today, and recognised Victorian women leading women’s health services in addressing gender equity, women’s sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of violence against women.

Over the past four decades, abortion has been legalised, sexual harassment has been outlawed, and an Australia-first Royal Commission into Family Violence the state’s first Gender Equality Strategy have been established.

GWH chief executive Fiona Owen said the organisation had been advocating for the women of Gippsland since 1991 and would continue to do so.

“We are on the cusp of significant social change and it’s very exciting to be instrumental in creating better and lasting outcomes for women,” she said.

At Opal Aged Care, Sale, in a cheeky nod to all things feminine, residents and their families dressed in pink, and adorned the facility in flowers, beads and bunting.

Special guest Dr Ann Miller, an acupuncturist and general practitioner from Inglis Street Medical Centre, spoke about women’s health as they age, and her travels to administer care in Vanuatu, before an afternoon tea spread complete with pink cupcakes.

Opal lifestyle coordinator Lynne Ashton said she chose to hold a International Women’s Day celebration as it removed bias from women from different backgrounds.

“Some of our seniors here are pioneers in their own right,” she said.

“One of the best things about working in aged care is all of the wonderful stories of the people who have worked hard, manually and physically, how they’ve rasied their families and participated in the community.

“They’ve paved the way for our generation, like how hopefully our generation will pave the way for the next one.”