Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — Thank you, Ms Fitzherbert. That was a fantastic contribution. Happy International Women’s Day to you too.
I would like also to reflect on the significance of this day, both globally and at home. Women across the globe are still facing unimaginable barriers that we would never think of in Australia. When listening to a woman on the radio this morning, I was struck by her comment that she was celebrating International Women’s Day because she was born, because she had received an education and because she had the opportunity to make a living. It is easy to forget that other countries and cultures still practise gender selection, with girls killed or abandoned because they are seen as a burden, and that education for women and simply having work in some countries is illegal. Those fundamental rights remain out of reach for so many women across the globe.
We are lucky, but we should not diminish the problems women still face in Australia. We know that preventing family violence starts with promoting equality and respect for women.
One in four Victorian women still faces family violence. Women still face a pay gap that could have been closed long ago, but remains. In fact, it was 99 years ago today that 15 000 women marched through New York City demanding better pay and voting rights. The theme is ‘Be bold for change’, and I welcome International Women’s Day.