March 2012 Reflections







International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8th across the world.  It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements, regardless of divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

It is an occasion for reflecting on past struggles and accomplishments and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. 

The theme for IWD this year is women's economic empowerment.  Across the world, 70% of the world's poor are women.  Although they do more than two thirds of the world's work, they earn less than 10% of the world's wages.  Millions of women are suffering the trauma of wars and violent conflicts and struggling to overcome enormous deprivation.  It is hard for us in the Western world to imagine what it is like to live like this. 

Despite our high standard of living and our greater ability to withstand the worst of the global financial crisis, according to the IWD website in Australia, significant barriers to women's economic security continue to exist in our own country.  These include lack of job security, occupying lower paid jobs, experiencing discrimination and less access to higher level positions - often arising out of their childrearing responsibilities and time out of the workforce. 

Although Australian women have made significant gains in the last two decades, I would suggest that they are possibly more stressed than their mothers were.  Yes they are living longer and enjoy better physical health and have a higher standard of living conditions.  However, these days there are greater expectations on women because of increased opportunities and the widespread idea that women can have it all eg. career and family.   Many of the women I see in my practice are displaying high levels of stress as they struggle to work full or part time or run a business, meet the standard of a "good mother" by ferrying their children around to after school and weekend activities, helping them with homework, plus shopping, cooking and cleaning.  Never before have there been so many demands and expectations on mothers (and fathers too I must add).  Some of these women are lone parents and have no one else to assist them.  Any wonder many women are exhausted and feeling inadequate as they endeavour to live up to the unrealistic expectations of our modern society. 

Whatever their roles, the women of our society are making a fundamentally important contribution to their communities, families and workplaces and without their efforts neither our economy nor our social structures could function. Many of these women are volunteers or work in low paid jobs.  They  care for our children, our elderly and provide and advocate for better services and equality for people with disabilities. 

Talking to young women these days, it seems to me that to many of them take for granted the advances that women have made over the years and are unaware of the enormous obstacles which had to be overcome to achieve them.  It must seem strange for them to imagine a world where women did not vote, did not have access to education and equal pay.  International Women's Day is an opportunity to look back at the wonderful work of women in the past who fought for the rights and equality that we modern women enjoy today and recognize and value their legacy to us.  We have a responsibility to continue the fight and not be complacent or allow those gains to be lost.  There is still more to be done, not only in the developing countries, but in our own, where the plight of many women who experience disadvantage as a result of economic or social background, in particular our indigenous women and those with disabilities or their carers, needs to be addressed.

So lets remember and celebrate and continue to work for the economic, political and social equality of women everywhere. 

How you can take action now?  Here are a couple of ideas.

Make a difference in a woman's life by giving through KIVA  See link below

Help African girls into education - Go to


                        Now for something for yourself




Re-vitalise - Re-charge - Re-energise - Re-fresh


This is a one day event for women to learn how to be healthier, less stressed, fitter and more stylish.  Presented by a Naturopath, Personal Trainer, Aromatherapist and Image Consultant.  Many bonuses offered in a fun and educational day.

            When:  Saturday, 17th March, 2012 -  9 am to 5 pm.

      Venue:  Function Centre Syndal Baptist Church,

                 588 High Street Road, Glen Waverley

Early Bird rate:  $197

Bookings and Enquiries:  Simone Morley, Centre for Wellness - 9887 6391