06 March 2015
International Women's Day is held annually on 8 March to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. On this day we reflect on the present success and past failure of efforts to ensure women and girls are valued in not just our society, but all societies around the world.
While we have reason to be proud of Australia's record, there continues to be much to do in many other parts of the world where women and girls are still commodities of men.
Yet in those societies where women are not only encouraged and protected but resourced through education and equality of opportunity, the economic dividend is enormous.
The natural instinct of women and girls to be nurturers and sustainers of life, coupled with their determination to protect those they care for is powerful.
Sadly though, there are too many societies and cultures where women are used, abused and denied opportunity. We must all stand against this.
The Australian of the Year 2015 Rosie Batty is leading a substantial national debate about domestic violence. While it is not gender exclusive, women and their children are the ones most likely to be hurt by men.
We can no longer hide such things from public view and we do need strong laws to express society's disgust for those who mistreat women and children.
Locally, this Monday 9 March, a breakfast to celebrate International Women's Day and the many impressive women of Norfolk Island will be held at Bounty Lodge. This networking event will be a perfect opportunity to hear two impressive local women, Sergeant Catherine Tye and Ms Michelle Ruka.
Lorraine and I look forward to hearing their presentations. We would encourage all Norfolk Islanders to participate in celebrating this most important event.
The Hon. Gary Hardgrave