International Women’s Day (IWD) 8 March 2018

Today is a day to recognise the achievement of women world-wide.

Our nursing, midwifery and care-worker teams, with rich diversities, recognise the value of women’s knowledge and expertise as leaders, ability to plan for and respond to disasters and conflict, and to help protect and empower women and girls so that they can survive and thrive.

IWD started in the early 1900’s, as part of the Suffragettes movement, with the first IWD celebrated in 1911.

Australia was reasonably progressive (although some states took longer than others) in comparison to other similar countries, when women achieved the right to vote in 1902.

In this day and age though, there remain struggles for equality. Gender parity remains a concern for many in our own country, and across the world. We have the power of collective action and the shared responsibility for driving gender parity.

More than 100 years since the first IWD, we are still seeking pay parity, and other gender-related conditions to ensure our safety and longevity of contributions to society.

The most recent statistics from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia show that 89% of the nursing and midwifery workforce is female.

It is time for the tenacity and dedication with which we provide care be turned to ourselves, as a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and a call-to-action to progress gender parity.