International Women’s Day
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #EachForEqual.
I began thinking about what this might mean for myself or other young women my age. Despite my age, I can identify times that gender stereotypes have been enforced or that I have felt restricted just by being female. Something as simple as my primary school teacher asking for ‘strong boys’ to help move the furniture or the boys not passing me the ball in my mixed soccer team made me feel inferior.
International Women’s Day is a day to recognise and celebrate the actions of remarkable women within our society. Despite the disadvantages that women may face, there are still people working hard to create a more compassionate and equal community.
One of those women is Mrs. Chrissie Turner, a regular parishioner as St Brigid’s Church in Rosewood and regular relief teacher specialising in early childhood at St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School. I have known her since I was very young and she has been an inspiration to me, helping me be courageous and always striving for my goals. She has participated in numerous different personal missionaries overseas including multiple Caminos and the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. When I asked her why she was so passionate about mission she replied, “It gives you a greater understanding of how others live their lives’. When you’re walking, you’re virtually walking through their backyards. You’re not a tourist there, you’re seeing their culture. In Cambodia, there’s so much poverty, and we are so lucky to be born in a country where you have things, so just being grateful and humble about what you have is important. It is a very spiritual experience that gives you time to pray whilst your spending time on your own. I believe that a challenge makes you stronger in body and in mind.”
It is women like this that should be an influence for young girls in the future – showing the values of compassion, independence and determination. So, what does #EachforEqual mean to me? It means feeling empowered by other women to achieve greatness and breakthrough those gender inequality barriers that I will face in my life. In the words of Michelle Obama “There is no limit for what we as women can accomplish.”
Danielle Wendt | Year 11
Below are some images of International Women’s Day celebrations at St Mary’s College Ipswich.