Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating all things women, but I worry International Women’s Day (originally International Working Women’s Day) has lost its focus. How did it go from working women marching for peace and organising strikes in the early 20th century to modern women trying to fit IWD breakfasts and morning teas into their already packed schedule?
As union members, we need to stay focused on the ongoing needs of working women. As we prepare for the next schools agreement, exercise your right to have a say in your industrial conditions by participating in the ‘log of claims’ process. Every agreement is an opportunity for women to demand a safe, equal and respectful workplace.
I urge you to speak to other women members about what working conditions they need. Work with your AEU women’s officer (WOW) to co-ordinate these recommendations and call on male allies to listen and to back you up.
Use your Term 1 union meeting to have your proposal endorsed by your sub-branch. Then organise for your appointed representatives to attend the regional meeting in Term 2, to ensure your sub-branch submission is ratified.
Like the women who marched before us, we must organise and speak up for what you want.