Home' LOTL : March 2011 Contents International Women's Development
Agency (IWDA) is an Australian not-
for-pro t group that, for 25 years, has
been creating positive change for women and
their communities by working in partnership
with local women-led organisations. From a
Safe House in Cambodia to young women's
radio programs in Fiji, IWDA's partners
implement practical, rights-based projects
that directly address poverty, discrimination
and oppression in Asia and the Paci c.
As IWDA wraps up its 25th birthday
celebrations, it joins multitudes of organisations
in celebrating the 100th Anniversary of
International Women's Day on March 8th by
shining a spotlight on the struggles and rights
of women and examining gender inequalities.
Women as agents of change have achieved
so much in the past 100 years. ey catalysed
the very rst International Women's Day
back in 1908, when 15,000 feisty feminists
marched through the streets of New York
wearing their political colours of white, purple
and green and demanding better pay, shorter
hours, voting rights and an end to child labour.
At a time when women were considered
second class citizens, they demanded that their
voices be heard, and throughout the world,
women campaigned relentlessly to achieve
one of the most fundamental revolutions in
gender roles, that transformed the social fabric
of society, and is a legacy that still remains.
ere is no doubt that these women,
who dared to challenge the status quo, have
paved the way for future generations. Today,
International Women's Day is claimed as a
day of celebration for our achievements past
and present, as we celebrate our rights to
take part in the democratic process, to lead
intellectually ful lling lives, to have children
safely and to have a voice in decisions that
a ect our lives and our bodies.
While so much has been achieved, there is
still much more to be done as huge disparities
still remain both here in Australia and in the
contexts in which IWDA and its program
For IWDA, International Women's Day
is also a time to re ect on the sobering
realities and the status of women in Asia and
the Paci c. ere is no doubt that the face
of poverty is female, with women and girls
accounting for 60% of those living in extreme
poverty. A global epidemic of violence
against women continues to persist, and
tragically violence against women accounts
for more death and disability than cancer,
malaria, tra c injuries and war put together.
Maternal mortality rates in many developing
countries are also still unacceptably high, with
pregnant women in developing countries
facing the same risk of death as women did in
the UK 100 years ago.
at's why this year, as a symbol of
solidarity, celebration and commitment
IWDA has called upon some of Australia's
nest artists to celebrate 100 years of
International Women's Day with a music
and arts event 'Half the Sky' on Tuesday 8th
March at Melbourne's ornbury eatre.
20 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Film / Books / Music / Comedy / Theatre / Events
Women Hold Up
Half the Sky...
Australian artists join IWDA to
celebrate 100 Years of Women
Half the Sky
With: Clare Bowditch, Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier,
Stiff Gins, Sally Dastey of TIDDAS, Lucie Thorne,
The Red Brigade and The Town Bikes
Tickets: thornburytheatre.com, oztix.com.au and OzTix
Outlets (Polyester Records, Greville Records, The
Espy Bottleshop, and Fist 2 Face).
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