Friday, March 3, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Equality And Empowerment

International Women's Day (IWD), held on March 8 each year, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group, or organisation specific.

In Mackay, the Zonta Club has been celebrating IWD with an annual event for years. Zonta is a leading global organisation of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta International envisions a world in which women's rights are recognised as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential. In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men. In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.

I am very proud to have been a member of this club for over 10 years. We are a passionate and diverse group of women that reflect a cross-section of the community. From young professionals to business owners and retirees, our membership group varies in age, career, lifestyle, background, and experience. We meet over dinner from 5.30pm on the third Tuesday of each month at Ocean International. We’d love for you to join us!

And the question is always asked – what about International Men’s Day? This is also an annual event, celebrated on November 19, to recognise the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities. In Mackay, the wonderful Frank Cowell from Shed Happens coordinates this event with a dedicated group of volunteers. The Zonta Club of Mackay also supports this event.

Collective action and shared ownership for driving gender parity are what make International Women's Day impactful. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist once explained "The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." So, make International Women's Day your day and do what you can to truly make a positive difference for women.

Cr Belinda Hassan

Mackay Regional Council

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