International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 is an occasion to reflect and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality.
The 2021 global UN Women theme for International Women’s Day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. This theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future.
International Women’s Day whole of University event: 8 March at 11am-12pm
In the spirit of the #womenlead theme, this year’s IWD event on the University’s ON24 Platform is a joint celebration for students and staff.
Hosted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Industry Engagement, Professor Sue Dodds, this event is an opportunity for staff and students to hear from a diverse range of voices:
- Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor, La Trobe University.
- Dr Mishel McMahon, Lecturer in Social Work and Co-ordinator of Victorian Aboriginal Research Accord Project at VACHHO.
- Cecilia Milagro Bravo Huaynates, inaugural recipient of the Aiia Maasarwe Research Scholarship.
- Jenna Boyd, Founding Board Director of the La Trobe Student Association.
Panellists will reflect on what International Women’s Day means to them and how we can all contribute to a more gender equal and inclusive University.
While IWD celebrates women in all their diversity, gender equality is, of course, meaningful for everyone. We encourage staff and students of all genders to attend this event.
Why celebrate IWD?
At La Trobe, while we have much to celebrate, there is always more work to be done. In February 2020, the University received its Bronze Institutional Award from Science Australia Gender Equity in recognition of our commitment to gender equality and diversity. The University is currently number one in the world for Gender Equality according to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings which assesses universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
This year we are also celebrating the achievements of our Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellows.
The impact of COVID-19 has reminded us that equality and inclusivity work is more important now than ever. We know that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women, trans and gender diverse people, including both staff and students at the University. We also know that gender inequality is, of course, compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination women may experience due to characteristics, such as race, Aboriginality, religion, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation.
This why last year we launched the new La Trobe Equality and Inclusivity Plan. The Plan merges, updates and improves on existing plans and is designed to improve the coordination and efficiency of equality work. Central to The Plan is an intersectional approach, recognising we are all diverse in so many ways. We maintain our commitment to a culture that is diverse, safe, and inclusive for all.