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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 665 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

is confused. What it does mean is that feminism is as various as the women it represents. What weaves a feminist movement together is consciousness of inequities and a commitment to changing them.

We women, especially we feminists, are still trying to become what we believe in. So get equal pay for comparable work, down with the virgin/whore complex, know your body the way you know your Judy Blume books. Fight for the right to love whom you choose. In all things fight for equality. You could take less but why suffer.

MRS BURKE (4.35): I would like to congratulate Ms MacDonald for bringing forward International Women's Day for discussion today as a matter of public importance. "International Women's Day,"to quote the Training and Adult Education office, "offers women throughout the world the opportunity to join together to celebrate their achievements. It is an opportunity to reaffirm their goals."It offers the opportunity to ultimately improve the status of women, and areas such as pay conditions and political rights would be included in these objectives.

I would like to thank the many women who have supported the many events that have been held this week and are due to be held continually throughout the week, to celebrate women not only in Canberra but also around the globe. As a strong supporter of women succeeding on their merits, I particularly commend the activities of the IWD movement.

I was pleased to see that Training and Adult Education have recognised the role of men in working towards a better world for women and girls. I think this is indicative of the fact that we need their support. Indeed, on a lighter note, let us not forget that had it not been for men, I would not be here today talking about this matter. So possibly-Mr Cornwell will laugh at this-we may see the day when we have an international men's day, too, to celebrate the efforts of their helping women.

Women since 1911 have been working extremely hard-and probably before then, too, but it became more of an issue around that time-to make a woman's lot a happier and more fulfilling one. Ms Dundas is not alone in describing what used to happen. It is not that long ago that women really suffered and struggled in their striving for equality, and they are still working to achieve that end.

I was interested to hear our excellent commander of operations of the AFP, Mandy Newton, say how buoyed-and there is no pun intended-she had been by the enormous support offered to her by her male colleagues. We have come a long way since the early 1900s. We still have a long way to go to ensure that other women around the world enjoy better rates of pay, better living conditions, and are better able to secure political rights.

I believe that with world travel becoming increasingly available to more people, and with the ever-increasing advancements in technology, we will see greater achievements in such areas as reconciliation, freedom from violence, and responsible environmental management.

Again, it is tremendous to know that IWD is an occasion where men and women join together to make a better world for women. We in the Western modern world do not know how blessed we are. We enjoy living in a democracy where the freedom of the individual is accepted.

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