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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 731 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

Since Vida Goldstein first put her name forward to represent her community in 1903, since Janine Haines became the first female leader of a political party and since the election of six women to this Assembly last year, women have shown that not only do we know how to use our vote wisely but we also make good representatives.

2002 also sees the 30th birthday of the Women's Electoral Lobby, a grassroots community organisation working for women's rights in the political sphere, and one that I am incredibly proud to be a member of. The fact that WEL has made it to 30 and must continue to fight and that some of the battles that we fight today are of the same battles as our mothers and our grandmothers fought shows just how much there is still to be done.

Women earn on average only two-thirds of the average male wage. We live in a territory where the Minister for Women is a man who does not seem to take this concern seriously and where control of our reproduction is not our own.

Many people who have a privileged position in the order of things, people who have never experienced discrimination, just cannot understand how much courage and spirit it takes to stand up and fight. They cannot imagine being in a position where they would need to. For emancipation movements like the women's movement, this is the biggest challenge of all-the blindness of those who will not see.

In the workplace, in the household and in political life women still experience significant disadvantage. And it is not just bread and roses that we are missing. Too often women are put down and encouraged to put themselves down. This may be bold to say, but if some people do not see this problem it could well be because they are part of the problem.

So let us take this opportunity of International Women's Day to celebrate, to remember and to act-to celebrate our achievements despite adversity, to remember and recognise the amazing women in our community and to act to build our society to make the future what we want it to be: safe, inclusive and rewarding for all women.

MS MacDONALD (4.42): I rise in support of this matter of most importance for all the public of the ACT. At the moment there is a display in the foyer of the Legislative Assembly entitled "Women in the Making of Canberra". This display highlights some of the very prominent women who have been involved with the establishment of this great city-women such as Marion Mahoney Griffin, whose ideas and planning skills were as much to do with the way our city developed as were the ideas of her husband; Lady Gertrude Denman, wife of the then Governor-General, who proclaimed the city of Canberra on 12 March 1913; Lady Garran, wife of the former Solicitor-General, who travelled on the buses of Canberra and insisted that the bus conductor introduce her to any new face so that she could welcome new women to Canberra.

Other women in this display include Joy Warren, founder of Canberra's first commercial gallery, Solander Gallery, Jacqui Pearce, Kate Carnell and Rosemary Follett. These are all prominent women who have made a contribution to our community.

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