Sian’s intro to International Working Women’s Day 5th March 2021
You don’t often see events for this day with the word “working” in their title. But for ourselves it is a very deliberate inclusion. We’re here demanding for and building a movement that is for all of us, not just for a privileged view.
So on that note, I’d like to acknowledge that we are gathering today on the land of the Yuggerra and Torubul people and pay my respects to elder’s past and present. I’d also like to acknowledge that sovereignty over this land was never ceded, meaning the land we stand on now was stolen.
It’s important to have this at the forefront of our minds, because the system that depends on women’s oppression, and poverty was born from colonialism. And if we refuse to look at the horrors that continue to occur in this country, we will be forever doomed to a feminism like I mentioned before, one of expensive luncheons for nice white ladies the privileged few instead of one that can bring us true liberation.
So we called this rally last week, when the news came out about the LNP government’s so-called raise to “job seeker”. This raise is actually a cut of $50 a week, coming with this false raise or a bunch of awful welfare changes that our speakers will be talking about today.
One of the most pertinent to International Women’s Day, being the employer dob-in line. This line allows bosses to dob-in interviewees who supposedly refused suitable work.
It’s obvious a lot of dodgy shit is going to happen from this. The scariest being bosses coercing women, alone in a room with them into awful situations with the threat of having their centerlink payments cut off hanging over their heads.
It’s obvious the LNP detests women’s rights. Over the past few weeks, the news that broke about how deep this rock goes. The rape allegations and cover ups aren’t an aberration. They come from a political party and a society where misogyny is deeply embedded. There is in charge to test anyone not at the top of the pile. We can’t rely on their consciences to fix this. So we need to come together to collectively to demand a safe and fair world.
Today is one step in that fight.
Transcribed by Ian Curr