International Women's Day - 8 March 2021

#ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021

History of International Women’s Day

In 1908, following terrible working conditions and exploitation, 15,000 women took to the streets of New York protesting for shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

The next year a National Women’s Day to honour the strikers was announced and has now become a global movement. On 8 March 2021, we celebrate the creation of a Women’s Day to:

  • celebrate women's achievements,
  • raise awareness about women's equality,
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity, and
  • fundraise for female-focused charities.

A day to recognise how far we’ve come towards gender equality, and how far we have left to go. On International Women’s Day we remember that as long as one woman faces discrimination, harassment, inequality or oppression, we all do.

This years’ theme is #ChooseToChallenge. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create change.

Dress for Success – Clothing drive

This year we are supporting the Dress for Success charity.  They are empowering women to obtain economic independence by providing them with work-appropriate attire, job support mentoring, access to career development workshops and a supportive network to enable them to move forward and achieve self-sufficiency through gainful employment. To show our support we are arranging collection points within the People & Culture offices on both Sydney and Fremantle campuses.

People and Culture will be collecting new or nearly-new professional attire, including accessories such as shoes, handbags, necklaces, and even unused cosmetics and self-care items such as unopened toiletries at Level 2, ND48 on the Fremantle Campus and Level 4, NDS17 on the Sydney Campus from Monday 1 March through to Friday 12 March.

All career appropriate clothing donations MUST be laundered/dry-cleaned and ready to wear. No donations should be in need of repair.

Who is your UNDA sHero?

Is there an amazing women you would like to send an E-Card to? Are they your UNDA sHERO? Send a message to a colleague who inspires you.

From women to a sHero:

sHero shout out 1 sHero shout out 2

From men to a sHero:

sHero shout out 1 sHero shout out 2

Library displays

The University Libraries are currently displaying literature by and about women, and an assortment of biographies about great women in history. All visitors are encouraged to visit these displays and to borrow a book to read and celebrate international women’s day.

LinkedIn Learning: Women in Leadership

Women who aspire to leadership roles face unique challenges in today's companies. They are passed over for key opportunities, paid less than their male colleagues, and left out of critical networks. In this path, learn essential skills and strategies for success as a leader in the workforce.

  • Identify the key skills necessary to advance in the workplace
  • Practice behaviors that will move you into leadership positions
  • Create a plan for future success in your career

Access Women in Leadership More courses with LinkedIn Learning

List of inspirational films and books

Commemorate International Women’s Day this year with Reading Australia’s list of books that are written by, for and about women.

  • My Brilliant Career
    Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin is the iconic author whose name inspired not one, but two, major Australian literary awards: the Miles Franklin, the most prestigious literary award in the country, and the Stella Prize, an award dedicated to celebrating Australian female writers and addressing the lack of recognition female authors receive. My Brilliant Career is about a young woman who defies the gender constraints of her time by rejecting the traditional path of a woman (marriage or a governess) and instead chooses to follow her dreams of being a writer.
  • Don’t Take Your Love to Town
    Don’t Take Your Love to Town, winner of the 1988 Australian Human Rights Literary Award, is a highly-respected Indigenous memoir. It was written by Aboriginal author, activist and historian, Ruby Langford Ginibi, and is the story of her life as an Aboriginal woman. Hers is a life endured – born on a mission and abandoned by her mother at age six, she underwent four difficult relationships and raised nine children, almost single-handedly. She sufferred the deaths of four of her children and overcame an alcohol addiction and a lifetime of racism. She writes about the struggles faced by Aboriginal communities, in particular their high representation in prisons.
  • The Man Who Loved Children
    This novel tells the story of a young girl living in a dysfunctional family who struggles to escape her father’s tiring and overbearing masculinity and narcissism. When it was first published in 1940, it was largely ignored by the public and literary world. It wasn’t until its 1965 reissue, the era of feminisim’s second wave, that it found some popularity. Christina Stead, often cited by other writers to be one of the greatest Australian authors, chose not identify with the feminist movement. Nonetheless, her novel has widely been interpreted as being about a young girl escaping from the control of her patriarchal family.
  • Faith Singer
    Faith Singer is a middle-aged, whiskey-drinking, foul-mouthed retired rock star who lives in Kings Cross, the place where society’s outcasts come together. She has a passion that is commanding and loving and dangerous all at once, and she defends those she loves with an animalistic fierceness. Female love and friendship, grief and tenderness, traditionally traits aligned with the “weaker” sex, are the very things that make the characters of this novel powerful. At the heart of this story are Faith’s feminist values that persist in the face of the exploitative patriarchy.
  • Bush Studies
    This short story collection, published in 1902, focusses on the experiences of women living in the Australian bush. Barbara Baynton, inspired by her own experiences, dismantles the romanticised image of life in the bush, instead depicting it as a harsh place where female suffering is commonplace. The women in these stories are isolated, lonely and lacking in female friendship. They live through the tragedies and terrors of the bush, and survive the whims and cruelties of men.
  • Sydney Journals: Reflections 1970–2000
    Sydney Journals is a collection of diary entries written by poet Antigone Kefala over a period of 30 years during which she lived in Sydney. Born in Romania, Antigone lived in Greece and New Zealand with her family before settling in Sydney. Her poetry is interested in introspection and in the dream world. As a migrant who speaks several languages and learnt English only when she arrived in New Zealand, she is aware that language and all its meaning is a construct, limited by geography and culture.
  • Mother I’m Rooted
    In 1970, a young poet and activist named Kate Jennings gave a speech at a Vietnam Moratorium that kick-started the second wave of feminism in Australia. Jennings went on to edit Mother I’m Rooted, an anthology of poetry written by women. This anthology gives voice to the whole spectrum of female experience. Married, single, housewives, professionals, mothers, lesbians, heterosexuals – they are all represented and they demand that their choices, lifestyles, feelings (including the unfeminine anger, despair, bitterness) are valid whether they follow the traditional path or not.
  • Lilian’s Story
    Lilian Singer was born in 1901, a time when the education of women was considered unnecessary, even dangerous. Intelligent, resilient, and with a burning desire for independence, Lilian rejects the life deemed “acceptable” by society. Instead, she becomes an eccentric – energetic, happy and true to herself. This story is all the more captivating for being inspired by the real-life Bea Miles, a familiar figure to Sydney-dwellers, who lived on the streets and recited Shakespeare in exchange for money.

Access Wellbeing Services

At Notre Dame the pastoral care and wellbeing of all of our staff is a priority. If you are struggling or experiencing mental distress the University provides access to counselling support through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Wellness check Tips for wellbeing at work Counselling

Female Focus on Finance

One of the unique challenges women in Australia face is financial, as women’s superannuation savings at the time of retirement is often half that of men – not considered enough to live comfortably. We are working with UniSuper to support women by sharing strategies to assist them in building a solid financial foundation and to increase engagement in super.

Thursday, March 11th, 12:00pm (AWST)

Register for the upcoming live webcast

Men are welcome too!

IWD is a time for everyone, regardless of gender identity, to celebrate the progress that women have made towards equality and remember how much further there is to go. Be a male ally and help us progress toward gender equality today.