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On International Women's Day, we need to be a little less polite

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If you are looking forward to donning your “The Future is Feminist” T-shirt tomorrow to attend an International Women’s Day event featuring an “exceptional woman” who has succeeded “despite the odds”, I apologise in advance. I am about to spoil the party.

If, instead, you're wondering why this event was scheduled at some ungodly hour, mortified at the prospect of lugging home a bright pink goodie bag emblazoned with some corny slogan about your womanly super powers, and thinking you would rather hear a spirited (dare I say angry) appraisal of the inequalities that still (still!) face women in every corner of the world served up alongside a correspondingly spirited call to arms, read on. You’re amongst friends.

A Frida Kahlo Barbie from the range released to celebrate International Women's Day last year. Pretty, but not as powerful as continuing to take the fight to inequality in the real world.

One of my chief criticisms of IWD has always been that, in my humble opinion, every day should be IWD.

Though I appreciate the good intentions and potential benefit (given the context) those who founded the day in 1975 envisioned, lately it has seemed to me that IWD has become a bit of a consolation prize, particularly in light of the increasingly common tendency to mark or “celebrate” the day with a rather corporate morning tea featuring an “inspirational” speaker. We won’t give you true equality, but here, have a scone.

There also seemed to be an implicit agreement: we’ll give you this day to talk about “women’s issues” as long as you don’t bang on about this stuff too loudly the other 364 days of the year – or expect us to pay it any heed.

Kristine Ziwica, long-time equality sector........

© Canberra Times