Buvette Masthead

International Women’s Day

Tracey Spicer

What you are witnessing around the world is a revolution.

There are moments in history that are turning points: the Suffragettes risking their lives for the vote; the second wavers ‘burning their bras’ for reproductive rights; and the ‘lipstick feminists’ of the girlpower movement.

On 21 January 2017, there was another seminal moment, as almost five million women marched together to collectively shout one word: ENOUGH.

Enough of the pussy grabbing. Enough of the pay gap. Enough of the everyday sexism. Enough of being treated as slaves in unpaid caring roles we’re told are a privilege (if this is true, why aren’t more men staying at home to look after the children and elderly …?). Enough of being judged on our appearance, rather than the contents of our hearts and heads. And enough of feeling unsafe in our homes, for fear of domestic terrorism.

These are the problems that plague us in the developed world. But gender inequality is a spectrum disorder. Our sisters across the seas face gendercide, the dowry system, female genital mutilation, poverty and malnutrition.

This is the striking commonality: women are valued less than men.

Filming a documentary in India, I held a woman in my arms as she wept for the loss of a daughter, killed for the crime of being a girl. In Uganda, I fell to my knees at the feet of Jennifer Alupot, whose case forced the Ugandan parliament to outlaw domestic violence: her husband had made her breastfeed the family’s puppies. And in Bangladesh, I learned of the flood of girls forced into homelessness and prostitution, after each monsoon season.

It’s clear that our battles are far from over. To those who say we live in a post-feminist era, I ask you to imagine this: being a Black woman in America; an Indigenous woman in Australia; a Muslim woman in France. Hell, imagine being a woman in Saudi Arabia, who risks being fired, fined or flogged for driving …?

The fourth wave focuses on intersectional feminism. We must fight for the right to be free from violence and discrimination. But we must also listen to women like these, to truly understand their struggles. The gay women of Uganda; the transgendered in Russia; and those who live with disabilities.

We should support each other against the current brutal backlash.

So, write to your local member. Join a women’s rights organisation. And take to the streets.

Talk to your family and friends about why you’re wearing that pussy hat. (After all, it’s preferable to a pussy grab.)

And remember the wise words of Maya Angelou: “I’m a feminist. I’ve been female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.”

Happy International Women’s Day.

Tracey will be speaking at the National Press Club of Australia on International Women’s Day, Wednesday 8 March, as part of the Canberra Women in Media Networking Night. 


Tracey Spicer

With a rich history of 30 years in the Australian media, Tracey is one of the most sought-after speakers in the country. The multi-media journalist currently works as a commentator on ABC TV's The Drum, weekly opinion and travel columnist for Fairfax, and presentation trainer at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School. Her TEDx Talk, The Lady Stripped Bare, has garnered almost 1.5 million views. Her memoir, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, is being published by HarperCollins in April. More about the Author

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