Today prompts us to reflect on, and address issues of gender inequality across the world. Indeed, this year’s theme provided by the UN is a powerful one:
“A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.”
This is worth thinking about when we seem to know more of what’s going on internationally, thanks to social media, about horrible things happening to women on faraway streets. The ongoing rape case in India is a fine example of this. But sadly we do also hear reports of crimes against women on our streets. The streets we walk on every day here in Australia.
Apart from the serious stuff, I also think it’s a great time to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives, and to remember the amazing things great women of the past have given to the social, political and economic facets of our world.
The old saying goes, “behind every great man is a great woman.” A few names spring to mind. Michelle Obama. Alma Hitchcock. Judy Drummond. This saying can also be applied to our banknotes - I took out the $10 this morning.
Behind the great man Banjo Patterson is Dame Mary Gilmore, a woman who amongst other great things was the women’s editor of The Worker - the newspaper of the Australian Worker’s Union. Here she championed for women’s rights as well as child and indigenous welfare.
Behind John Flynn, Mary Reiby started as a convict and turned into one of Sydney’s most successful businesswomen, proving you can achieve no matter how you start out.
Dame Nellie Melba is behind John Monash on the $100, the first Aussie woman to gain international recognition and status as a classical musician, performing at notable places such as Covent Garden in London.
What great women!!
Sometimes I think, “Why isn’t there an International Men’s Day?” now wouldn’t that be true gender equality? I think I’ve got the solution. Let’s adapt that old saying, and also realise that “Behind every great woman is a great man.” ‘Tis true!
Not only are there Dennis Thatcher, Stedman Graham and Anthony McGuire. There’s also John Monash, John Flynn, David Unaipon and Banjo Patterson. Oh and don’t forget special Fiver Henry Parkes!
I think we work best when we are working together. We wouldn’t have the banknotes if we didn’t have these great Aussie women AND men showing us the way.