International Women’s Day on 8 March celebrated the achievements of women across the world and the significant social, economic and political gains made by women. The day is also a call to action, as unions continue to fight for equality and a faster rate of change to create a safer and fairer world for women and girls.
Seventy-two per cent of the IEU’s 75,000 members are women. Our teachers and school support staff have a unique role to play in the education of girls and our collective commitment to deliver greater gender equality in education, in our workplaces and in the broader community.
While we will take time to celebrate the courage and determination of women who have changed history, IEU members will also strive to find ways to unite and mobilise for the urgent changes still needed if our community is to fully Embrace Equity.
The last 12 months have seen long-overdue changes to better support women and workplace equality. The federal Labor government, comprising a record number of women in cabinet and on the front bench, has delivered:
- paid family and domestic violence leave
- improved access to flexible work arrangements
- new laws to promote workplace gender equality and equal remuneration in all industries
- Respect@Work reforms that established new rights and protections to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination.
IEU members and activists continue to drive real change in their workplaces – winning improved wages and conditions in our female dominated industry, more secure jobs and safer workplaces.
The IEU will continue to be the voice of women leadership and change.
In 2023, the IEU attended both the Sydney and Newcastle rallies and marches. On Saturday 4 March, a small but mighty contingent of unionists, women and families took to the streets of Hamilton. This was followed a week later by a larger rally outside Sydney Town Hall before a loud and colourful march to Hyde Park. With St Mary’s Cathedral as a backdrop, we heard from Penny Sharpe MLC, Jenny Leong MP, Maxine Sharkey from the NSW Teachers Federation, members of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, as well as Kate Lee from Union Aid Abroad APHEDA and Parisa Alvasi from Iranian Women’s Solidarity.