MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE WOMEN IN ROTARY’S INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY BREAKFAST
FROM HER EXCELLENCY THE HONOURABLE LINDA DESSAU AM
GOVERNOR OF VICTORIA
International Women’s Day is a time for celebration and reflection.
We can reflect that in Australia today, the social, economic, cultural and political status of women has vastly improved. The thought that Australian women did not always have the right to vote, or stand for electoral office, or even to continue to work if they were married, is simply incompatible with contemporary community values.
But we cannot be complacent. There is still much work to be done, both at home and around the globe.
The theme for 2016 International Women’s Day is “Pledge for Parity”.
In 2014, the World Economic Forum predicted global gender parity could be achieved by 2095. Only a year later, the prediction changed by over 30 years, to 2133. And in Australia, women overall are paid 17.9% less than men. These statistics reflect an alarming contraction in the progress towards gender parity.
This is not a challenge for women alone. It is for all of us. We are, quite simply, the poorer as a community when we do not have equality for all, and if we fail to draw from the full extent of our talent pool.
I congratulate Women in Rotary for their project work in this sphere, in addition to the success of the annual IWD breakfast. I have no doubt that this 2016 IWD Breakfast will also be successful, and I wish you all the very best for an inspiring International Women’s Day.
The Honourable Linda Dessau AM
Governor of Victoria