YoungNCWVic member Lucky Giirre to speak at the House of Lords

Lucky who spoke at My Vote My Voice 2016 is now at the University of London on a Chevening Scholarship part way through a Master of Laws Program in the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Lucky has just finished exams. But she has one last engagement before taking a holiday. She has been invited by Australian Barrister & Human Rights Lawyer the Hon. Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt to be one of four speakers at the upcoming WWAFE (Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom & Equality) seminar at the House of Lords on Wednesday 14 June 6-8pm. The seminar is being chaired by Baroness Margaret Prosser, and is entitled ‘A Mystery, A Mindshift, A Reckoning – Women Overcoming the Odds’.

 

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Year 10 Heidelberg Students researching Gender Equality

Anna, Beth and Lauren are students in Year 10 from Our Lady of Mercy College who have been conducting research for a project on the issue of Gender Equality. They decided to conduct a series of interviews to consider what can be done to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality in the workplace. This is an outline of the questions they have been asking:

– What are the areas that needs to be addressed, and possible approaches we can carry out to address these issues?

– Do you think the implication of government policies and quotas can effectively address the issue of gender inequality in the workplace?

– What do you think is the most effective way of raising awareness and education on the issue?

– In your personal opinion, what group of people should be actively taking the most action on the issue of gender inequality in the workforce (Government, employers or general public).

We hope they come to ‘My Vote My Voice’ at the Parliament of Victoria on the morning of Friday 1 September to tell us what they decided about these questions.

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My Vote My Voice 2017: Women in Local Democracy – towards gender equality

My Vote My Voice: Women in Local Democracy – towards gender equality, will be held in the Victorian Parliament on Friday 1 September 2017, 8:30 am – 12 noon

National Council of Women, Victoria conduct this event annually. The theme this year is ‘Women in Local Democracy – Towards Gender Equality’. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Local Government Women’s Charter which contains the three principles: gender equity, diversity and active citizenship. Students from across Victoria will come together to make three-minute speeches on these principles as they relate to decision making in the community and the workplace, to the invited audience of students, community members and a panel of eminent women.
Although places are limited, we would welcome up to six students from participating schools, with no more than three to speak, and accompanying staff or parents to attend. We have arranged the half day program with on-arrival refreshments and photographs from 8.30 am, then students and guests will move to the Legislative Council Chamber for a program of speeches, student presentations and panel comments that will conclude at 12 noon. We hope some of your students will be able to attend on Friday 1 September.

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Interfaith Model Seder for Women – A celebration of the Jewish Festival of Passover

Being interested in Jewish culture and history for a long time, I joined in a celebration of the Jewish festival of Passover held by National Council of Jewish Women Australia on 27 March 2017.

A Passover Seder is a commemoration of the day when the Jews escaped from slavery in  Egypt led by Moses. More than 90 women and girls from diverse faiths, cultural and ethnic backgrounds met at the Eva Besen Centre. Keren Harel-Gordon, a native of Jerusalem and a graduate of Hebrew University, led the proceedings by sharing the meaning and history of each meal, the story of the Exodus from Egypt, traditional blessing etc.

Being a patriarchal religion, this women’s Seder was run with an emphasis on the important women and their roles during that period of the exodus.

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The Seder Plate comes with bowls of salt water and six types of food including parsley, charoset (a ground up sweet mixture of nuts, apples, sultanas, of various recipes), shank bone, hard boiled egg, bitter herb, lettuce. For example, parsley represents the season of spring- the rebirth of nature and birth of Israel. Bitter herb symbolizes the bitterness of the life of Israelite slaves in Egypt. And salt water represents the tears of the slaves.

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A symbol of the Passover holiday is matzah, an unleavened flatbread made solely from flour and water. It seems so simple, plain and flat, we were told.

‘But for a symbol of Freedom, it is impressive. Matzah is not only the dough which our ancestors did not have the time to let rise as they left Egypt- the bread of liberation; but it is also the bread of poverty and persecution which our ancestors ate when they were slaves.’

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We read the translation from the book of Exodus Chapter 10 Verse 2: ‘And that you may tell your child, and your child’s child, what I have brought about upon Egypt…’. This is to encourage the children to remember the hard life their ancestors have been through and to cherish their current life. So this might be how the Passover Haggadah comes from ‘In every generation, a person must see themselves as if they, personally, had gone out of Egypt’.

The central theme of the first half of the Seder is their past liberation from slavery. The second part has its central theme of the future. It is all about faith in the coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Age of peace on earth. Elijah, it is said, will precede the Messiah, riding into Jerusalem announcing the arrival of the Messianic Age. So we poured a cup of wine for the prophet Elijah and opened a door through which he can enter..

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Above is just little part of the Seder. It might sound simple, but no one really knows what the difficulties the Jews have suffered and how they conquered them. The spirit is so great. No wonder nowadays many Nobel winners are Jewish. Throughout the generations they have given great honor to the intellectual pursuit.

I believe Passover Seder means a lot for the Jewish community. It is not just a gathering to review the bitter history, but to embrace peace and to cherish life. Without any doubt, they are called the most united community in the world.

 

—–by Yvette Wang

Reference:

National Council of Jewish Women Australia, Interfaith Model Seder for Women

 

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My first experience of a Parliamentary Advocacy Day

It was a great honor to be invited by the NCWA President Barbara Baikie to attend the Annual Parliamentary Advocacy Day organized by Equality Rights Alliance(ERA). ERA is Australia’s largest network advocating for women’s equality, women’s leadership and recognition of women’s diversity. It brings together 61 organisations including NCWA with an interest in advancing women’s equality (please visit the link for more information: http://www.equalityrightsalliance.org.au/about-us).

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Photo: meeting with the President Barbara Baikie and NCYWA members Chenyce and Kate

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Photo: Margaret Smith(middle) and Barbara Baikie (Right) from NCWA

On 23 November, more than 30 people from different orgnisations across Australia gathered in the Parliament House, Canberra to advocate on a number of issues pertinent to ERA members including funding renewal for National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), Tax Reform and Innovative Financing. As NPAH funding is due to end on 1 July 2017. NPAH urgently needs to be renewed, but importantly about improving NPAH so that there was sustainable, secure and long-term funding. Together we met MPs, Senators, Ministers and advisors to the Parliamentarians, including Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore, the Hon. Mark Dreyfuss MP, Senator Lee Rhiannon and advisors etc.

 

I was fortunate to be grouped with Dr Jennifer Strauss AM and Marie Coleman AO, from Graduate Women Victoria and National Foundation for Australian Women respectively, to have a discussion with Nico Louw, Advisor to the Hon. Scott Morrison MP. The issues we raised were NPAH, and its urgency especially for older women, single mothers with children and those women experienced domestic and family violence, and the need for a review of Negative Gearing and Capital Gains Tax Exemption policies. My suggestion to Nico was that “NPAH funding would be an economic investment and social investment. Because housing relates to general health issue, ageing issue and the issue of violence against women. Imagine the consequence of a single young mum with kids sleeping in the car cannot give kids proper living condition and education. Besides, it costs governments more to keep a person homelessness than it costs to provide permanent housing to end homelessness. More recent research from Parsell shows that over a 12-month period, people who were chronically homeless used state government funded service that cost approximately A$48,216 each, and over another 12-month period in which they were tenants of permanent supportive housing, the same people used services that cost approximately A$35,117.” Jennifer and Marie spoke strongly about the issue of housing affordability for older women and for those suffering domestic and family violence. There is a need to reform Negative gearing as 50% of benefits went to people in top 10% of income brackets.

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Photo: Dr Jennifer Strauss AM (Middle) and Marie Coleman AO(Right)

The other groups presented the issues to different political parties. However, our goals are the same: we require long-term, sustainable, and secure funding to meet diverse meet of women; reform of Negative Gearing and Capital Gains Tax Exemption; an overarching National Affordable Housing Strategy that is responsive to the diverse needs of women. It may seem that the power and strength of 30 women are limited, I am optimistic that our advocacy believe we will lead to positive change.

-written by Yvette Wang

 

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Free To Be

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All girls have the right to feel safe in the city.

Free to Be is a campaign that lets young women share their experiences of Melbourne. Places you love, places you avoid, places you feel safe and those that could be improved. It’s fun and easy to use and has been designed by young women to best capture their experiences.

Your experiences will be shared with the City of Melbourne to help them create a city that includes girls and young women, that encourages them to take part and ensures that every single person in the city feels safe.

For the first time in history, there are more people living in cities than in rural areas. Each month, 5 million people move to cities in developing countries.

Because I am a Girl is working with girls in 5 cities around the world (Cairo, Egypt; Delhi, India; Hanoi, Vietnam; Kampala, Uganda and Lima, Peru) to transform cities into places of inclusion, tolerance and opportunity where girls can thrive.

Article resources from: https://www.plan.org.au/free-to-be . You can also sign up for exclusive updates from the campaign.

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Girls are our future! Young women leading discussion at October NCWV meeting. And well done Victoria Waid!

(Photo 1:Group at October 2016 NCWV Council meeting  Joan Baden Powell, Sarah Morgan, Pam Hammond, Ruchira Kakkad, Victoria Waid, President Janene Blanchfield Brown, Gauri Kapoor and Tenille Gilbert)
Photo 2: Joan Baden Powell (NCWV delegate for Girl Guide Victoria) with Victoria Waid)

The focus of the October 2016 NCWV Council meeting was the theme for International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated on 11 October. UN Women has asked us to focus on adolescent girls who face significant social, economic and political barriers. While they hold the potential to become leaders and effect change, their empowerment can be hindered by factors such as unwanted pregnancy, forced early marriage, gender-based violence and limited access to higher education and reproductive health services.

As a lead into our discussion we were pleased to have two current UNAA student interns: Ruchira Kakkad( Arts (German Honours)/Engineering, Monash, who as a member of Monash International Studies Association attended the 2016 Harvard Model UN in Malaysia, and worked on isssues to do with UNHCR and Tenille Gilbert(RMIT Arts(International Studies with Spanish Language specialisation) ) who is interested in the part played by women’s organisations in progress for women. And we presented Victoria Waid (Girl Guides Victoria), a current Arts/Law student from ACU with her Civics and Citizenship Award from 2015, to assist her with her travel cost to the ten day ‘Young Women Changing Tomorrow’ program in January 2017 at Pune, India.

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