Sunday March 8 is International Womens Day
In the lead up, we are introducing you to a series, WoAP, sharing the stories of women who have been part of our growth an ongoing success. Kate Hamley is our National Secretary.
“I was lucky to grow up in the 90’s in the west of Melbourne. Despite all of the challenges around us, my setbacks were never because of being female. At school we were taught equality, and I never felt excluded or discriminated against because of my gender. My mother was the first in our family to attend university, and she set the example for me to follow in pursuit of my love of science.
Leaving school and entering the real world was a rude awakening. Outside of the education system, I began to see the rampant sexism evident in our society, notably when working as a waitress then again after becoming a mother, and again after becoming a single mother.
Entering politics was another challenge, as it is a space dominated by male ego and misogyny (see Scotty from Marketing and Tony Onion-eater). But I have been fortunate to meet so many strong feminist women activists through the Progressives that I admire to this day.
They taught me the history, the struggle, the injustice; they opened my eyes to the systemic inequality of a world created by men, for men. It is so crucial for us women to step up into politics, and every other leadership space. To be seen, heard and respected. To challenge the status quo. To demand better. To call out sexist bullshit and misogyny and make men accountable for their actions. It is how we can begin to tear down the patriarchal barriers that demand our subservience and labour. As women we are good at doubting our abilities, but we must persist with the confidence of a mediocre white man.
One female Prime Minister was a good start, but we still have a long way to go to achieve equity in Australia. We need women in Parliament. We need women in boardrooms. We need female CEOs, tradies, doctors, pilots, mayors, ambassadors, now - because you can’t be what you can’t see, and my daughter wants to be the first Australian President. So let’s make it possible.”
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