Possibly the key to real social change

2015 Australian of the Year and campaigner against violence, Rosie Batty.Whatmore could women possibly want that they don’t have now? – was thecomment left on a social media post about International Women’s Day.
Nanjing Night Net

A statement made probably withlittle regard for the great milestones achieved by women who walked in the generations before us to forgea path towardequality for all people. They walked forward and faced resistance and we thank them for that. We still have a long way to go.

The International Women’s Day breakfast hosted on March 8 by the Hastings Business Women’s Network and Leslie Williams MP was appropriately themed ‘unity’ and featured speaker, 2015 Australian of the Year and campaigner against violence, Rosie Batty (pictured).

For a real and enduring cultural shift to occur, we need to explorehow we react and respond to violence andthe harmful social norms that feed into gender inequality and misogyny. We need to do that together.

This is not just a conversation being had by women, and it’s not just a problem for men to ‘fix’. It is about achieving social equity and wanting a just world where strong and respectful relationships are its foundation. A world where opportunity is a reality for everyone regardless of gender, race, religion or ability. A community where we no longer use embedded stereotypes to normalise and validate harmful behaviours that perpetuate gender inequality.

Like any serious social issue, it is easier to emotionally react to sexism than take real action. In doing so, we stay in a cycle of blame that blinds us to the possibilitiesbefore us if we were bold enough to take a different approach; aunited approach, free of labels, one open to opportunity.There are many discourses in the gender equality discussion and often the broader, more important,cultural norms implicitly embedded at the foundation of all of these thoughts arerarely explored in our day to day conversations with each other – they should be. Until they are, we are not accepting that it takes all of us to make change happen.

Awareness on how language can shape the way we think and perceive things,feed harmful thoughts and negative stereotypes, is the first step. Think about the conversations you are have. Start one. The greatest legacy we can leave the next generationis the courage to forge a new path.

– By Tracey Fairhurst, editor Camden Haven Courier, Port News and Wauchope Gazette

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.