International Women’s Day – celebrating the achievements of women across the world

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International Women’s Day – celebrating the achievements of women across the world

On International Women’s Day (8 March 2021) the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is highlighting the achievements of women leaders and calling for the advancement of women’s participation and decision making in public life.

AASW Chief Executive Cindy Smith said this year’s International Women’s Day theme is celebrating the role of women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on women, those standing at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers providing support for family violence and mental health and a range of other issues, to caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.”

“The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry. As the vaccinations roll out across Australia and life begins the journey of returning towards a more normal routine, we have an opportunity to not only elevate the role of women but also achieve some meaningful change.”

“Representing a predominantly female workforce, the AASW takes the opportunity on International Women’s Day to celebrate and acknowledge the significant work and impact social workers have made during the pandemic.”

“Without the contribution of social workers Australia would not be in the recovery position we are in today. The nature of their work makes all social workers leaders in supporting those who often get left behind,” she said.

Ms Smith said that we also take this occasion to call on governments at all levels to ensure proper funding for all the services required as we move into the vaccination and recovery stage of the pandemic in Australia.

“The need for family violence, mental health, homelessness and other services is always there, more so in times of crisis. As life returns to normal the social work sector will need certainty and proper funding to assist those impacted by COVID-19,” she said.

International Women’s Day was first marked by the United Nations in 1977. The Day was born out of labour movements as women moved into the labour force in the early 1900s. In the 21st century IWD marks the achievements of women across many domains and is also a rallying point to continue to build on women’s rights throughout the world.