I hope you’re enjoying your International Women’s Day.

Last Sunday I attended the All About Women Festival at the Sydney Opera House, together with my sister. I highly recommend this event, which runs every year as a prelude to International Women’s Day. It features talks and presentations by women, about ideas that matter to women today.

I listened to the fabulous and formidable Geena Davis (yes, of Thelma and Louise fame) talk about how children’s television programming has the power to change the world. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media uses the slogan “if she can see it, she can be it” to promote and increase the presence of female characters on our screens, particularly in children’s television programs. This is vital work in a world where our children are engaging with media up to 10 hours per day.

I then had the privilege of hearing Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Lindy West and Van Badham speak of their experiences as so-called “nasty women” (in the Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton sense of the term). I deeply admire the courage they exhibit every day as they publicly challenge the status quo and refuse to be silent about the unfair power imbalances inherent in today’s society. They spoke of the power of solidarity and the importance of community building: it is together with others that you can effect real change, no matter how small your group may be.

However you mark your International Women’s Day – whether you’re consciously celebrating with friends, or simply giving the day quiet acknowledgement by reading this blog – remember there are strong, smart, courageous women out there. Some whose names we know and recognise, and some we don’t, but they’re all doing vital work to ensure women’s voices are just as present, respected and powerful as men’s voices in today’s world. I thank those women for the work they are doing for me, my generation and the generations that will come after us.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Amanda Farmer 

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