05 March 2012

International Women's Day!

Hi there! Whether you have just recuperated from partying at O Week, fighting the guy at the timetable office, your amazing holiday or returned from the world of full time summer work muttering “Never again, I’m staying at Uni for as long as I possibly can” let me be the first to blog…  Welcome to Uni 2012!

If you’re new to Uni (or have lost a significant amount of brain cells in the space of three months) may I suggest picking up a copy of The Bull magazine and reading up on all their tips for the start of Semester. Then, if you forgot to join Clubs and Societies make sure you do a little Facebook and USU Website trawling this week to ensure your supply of free BBQ lunches and trivia teams for the upcoming year.  Beyond that, we have a new Asian food outlet at Wentworth (om nom nom), Raw Food has all your salad and juice requirements and the taps are good to go at Manning and Hermann’s (although you could always go check that out yourself for good measure). And if all that wasn’t enough Week 1 also coincides with International Women’s Day, Thursday March 8th, which means this week’s blog post is not only informative but also THEMED!

Over 100 years ago some women (over 1 million) in Europe decided the fact that they couldn’t vote was plain out balls (yup, that’s a pun) and so they got together and walked around with some signs (over 300 demonstrations across Europe). Now its 2012 and things look slightly different - particularly if you are sitting reading this at a computer in a university and you yourself are, or are surrounded by, women. International Women’s Day has morphed into a celebration of progress, a moment to observe the work of women and men in the fight for gender equality in the past and an opportunity to write up some serious goal lists for the future.

When discussing the relevance of women’s movements in contemporary Australia its easy for people to quickly look around and wildly point out female identifying figures of authority …”Look over there! It’s OK! Our Prime Minister has lady bits! Phew!”… But to do this really only tells half the story and if we WANTED to boil it down to numbers and percentages or lists of power then I doubt the story would actually be that flaterring anyway. Furthermore, as citizens of a global community you only have to lift your gaze ever so slightly to see that for many women throughout Australia and the world there are challenges beyond the line at the Copy Centre and getting WiFi to work on campus.

And so we at the USU are paying homage to our fearless ladies of the past (the University of Sydney Union was actually split into a men’s union and a women’s union, and the Women’s Union owned Manning, fact) and celebrating today’s women with an International Women’s Day event at Hermann’s Bar on Thursday 12pm – 2pm! (Come by! Wear purple! Buy a ribbon!) run by Women of the USU (now with awesome purple singlets). And all week I am going to be profiling some amazing Women of the USU on the blog! So stay tuned, raise your fist, bake a cake, buy a ribbon, burn your bra, knit a jumper, cast a vote (even if its just in employee of the month at your local supermarket) roller derby and party on all in the name of International Women’s Day!

Brigid Dixon
USU Board Director
Women’s Portfolio (I’m in your kitchen, smashing your patriarchy)

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