Happy International Women’s Day!

I thank Women in Rotary for the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women today.

All over the country, women and men are celebrating at this time.

It is an opportunity to commemorate the gains we have made, while recognising the many challenges that are still ahead.

As the Chair of Our Watch — a not-for-profit, independent organisation — we work to change the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women.

Our vision is an Australia in which women and their children live free from all forms of violence.

Violence against women is serious, prevalent and driven by gender inequality.
Gender inequality sets the necessary social context for violence against women to occur.

A single organisation cannot achieve the complex social change needed to create a fairer and more equitable world where women can achieve their full potential and live without violence. This future is only possible if we all work together.

A crucial part of this work involves challenging restrictive gender stereotypes and promoting women’s independence and decision-making. Women in Rotary’s efforts in this space to support women’s full and unfettered participation in the workforce as well as women in leadership is commendable.

Let’s keep supporting each other and acknowledging the work of the women before us as we continue on our path to achieving real and lasting gender equality.

Natasha Stott Despoja AM

Our Watch Chair