‘Girls To The Front': Celebrating International Women's Day 2017 in Australia

Girls To The Front on triple j - triplej screenshot of YouTube video

Girls To The Front on triple j – triplej screenshot of YouTube video

Many events were organised across Australia for International Women's Day 2017 in order to celebrate victories and highlight struggles that are still ongoing.

Even before March 8, one media empire copped criticism from another for its plans. The national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), scheduled female presenters for the day.

Moreover, Triple J, one of the ABC's digital radio stations targeted at listeners between the ages of 18 and 25, featured music ‘made by women and programmed by women’ on IWD.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper attacked the ABC as ‘patronising’. Pedestrian.tv explained:

[Daily Telegraph] national political editor Sharri Markson has taken issue with the ABC's apparently “patronising” and “tokenistic” push to promote gender equality in the workplace by announcing its male presenters will take a backseat to female talent tomorrow, on International Women's Day.

Twitter user Chris Mac blamed the paper's owner:

#IWD2017 #internationalwomensday and #girlstothefront all trended down under on Twitter. The 2017 theme #beboldforchange was also a popular hashtag.

Traditional concerns such as sexism, the pay gap and lack of women in management roles were just some of the issues raised under the hashtags.

Domestic violence has been high on the agenda in Australia. ‘We say no more’ is a campaign with a particular focus on the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this area:

The business world was keen to trumpet any good news on social media:

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) achievements were popular on Twitter:

Prominent feminist Anne Summers published The Women's Manifesto for IWD. Its four equality goals for 2022 are:

  • Legislated equal pay for all women in all jobs
  • Decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales and Queensland
  • Specialist domestic violence courts in every state of Australia
  • Gender quotas dictating that women make up 50 per cent of all parliamentarians, all cabinets and other ministries and directors of all public company and government boards.

There were marches across the nation. At the Melbourne rally, the ‘sign says it all':

Finally, volunteer lawyers carried on the struggle at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre well into the evening:

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