International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is observed on March 8 every year and has been celebrated since the early 1900s.
In 2023, Merri-bek City Council will be proudly promoting the International Women’s Day (IWD) theme ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a Gender Equal Future’ based on the priority theme for the United Nations 67th Commission on the Status of Women
Did you know?
Australia’s first International Women’s Day was held in 1928 in Sydney. Organised by the Militant Women’s Movement, women called for equal pay for equal work, an 8-hour working day for shop girls and paid leave. The next year the event spread to Brisbane. In 1931, annual marches were launched in both Sydney and Melbourne and both marches continue to be held today.
Since these early days, International Women’s Day has continued to grow. It is a day to celebrate women’s achievements, and both highlight and work to address barriers that continue to perpetuate gender inequality.
Merri-bek City Council is hosting several events to mark the occasion with local artists, speakers and leaders in the community.
IWD Events in Merri-Bek
Barriers Faced by Culturally Diverse Woman Writers
Saturday, 4 March, 11 am – 2pm
Glenroy Community Hub
Throughout the written word’s history, female writers have faced numerous challenges. As one may imagine, in the early days of fiction and the novel, it was considerably harder for women to get their work published than it is today. The world has changed a lot, but it is becoming more and more obvious that ‘a lot’ is frequently insufficient. So many tales need to be told and so many voices need to be heard in this world. The only restriction should be the sky, not your gender.
Hear from guest speakers:
- Dr Shakira Hussain, author of From Victims to Suspects: Muslim women since 9/11
- Nandita Chakraborty, author of Rosemary’s Retribution and Dirty Little Secrets
- Niru Tripathi, author of Pariscano
- Emily Unity, author of an upcoming book Multicultural Minds, which is a project dedicated to raising awareness of multicultural mental health
Keynote Speakers are in the event:
- Supriya Singh, author of Domestic Economic Abuse: The Violence of Money
- Manorani Guy, founder and director of Asian Student Accommodation, and Asian Student Education
Merri-bek Business Women’s Network – Coffee Conversations
Tuesday, 7 March 9:30 am – 11:30 am
East Brunswick Village
Come and join us at the first Merri-bek Business Women’s Network – Coffee Conversations for 2023 and to celebrate International Women’s Day!
Hear from guest speakers
- Sway Quach is the creator and owner of restaurants Tom Phat and Bhang in Brunswick, having been in the hospitality industry for over 3 decades.
Sway is a passionate business woman who juggles many roles and thrives on the challenges of running two busy restaurants, trying to find time for hot spring catch ups with girlfriends and trying even harder not to be a grumpy single parent to her teenager child. Live to learn, learn to live!
- Anna Owens is the owner and founder ownsit!
ownsit! is a heart + soul led fun filled Australian accredited brand offering Fun, Fierce and Feminine SIZE INCLUSIVE fashion. ownsit! was founded in 2017 by Anna, a neurodivergent mum of two. Leaving her career in Social Work & Criminal Justice to fulfil her creative desires (your reminder to follow those signs because your dreams are calling!).
- Alejandra Angeles originally from Mexico City, moved to Melbourne in 2018 to pursue a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship at La Trobe University.
With almost a decade of experience working in various tech startups in business development, strategy, and digital marketing. However, her true calling came when she co-founded Gals en Australia, the first and largest network of professional Latin & Hispanic women in Australia.
International Women’s Day Eve Event
Tuesday, 7 March 6:30pm
Brunswick Artist’s Bar
As part of the Brunswick Music Festival, The Boite presents the International Women’s Day Eve Party. Here’s to strong women and non-binary folk in music, come support an incredible line of artists of colour.
What does International Women’s Day Mean to Me?
Wednesday, 8 March 6pm
The project will be launched with a fabulous event featuring some of Melbourne’s amazing women, and gender diverse people – artists, musicians, burlesque and queer performers, DJ’s, actors, drag kings and a pro-werstler!
The Babes of Brunswick
Wednesday, 8 March 6pm
The Retreat Hotel
Brunswick Music Festival celebrates International Women’s Day with an all-female (and female-identifying) lineup of Melbourne/Naarm pop artists at The Retreat Hotel. The Babes of Brunswick showcases the incredible artistry of different popular acts across Melbourne. This show features the best all-female pop, indie, synth and pop-rock and dreamy nostalgia vibes Brunswick has on offer.
There Is No Celebration Here: International Women’s Day Performance
Wednesday, 8 March 6pm
For many, International Women’s Day is not the celebration it should be. In Iran, women and girls are currently struggling against legally enshrined gender inequality and discrimination. Following the death of Masha Jina Amini in police custody, the girls and women of the Woman-Life-Freedom movement in Iran have courageously and peacefully demonstrated for their fundamental human rights. Protests have been met by fierce and fatal reprisals by authorities.
On International Women’s Day 2023, experimental duo ZÖJ will perform There is no celebration here, a dark, romantic and poetic improvisation at Counihan Gallery against the backdrop of exhibitions by Iranian born artists Setareh Hosseini and Sofi Basseghi, and Burmese artist Shwe Wutt Hmon, whose practices bring these human rights into focus. ZÖJ, meaning ‘couple’ in Farsi, are the duo of acclaimed Iranian singer and kamancheh player Gelareh Pour and drummer Brian O’Dwyer who began collaborating in 2017 and have since developed a reputation for their deeply moving, experimental and free form music.
Undefeated: 90 Migrant Women, 118 stories
Tuesday, 14 March, 7pm
A project by Professional Migrant Women, Undefeated is a collection of 118 stories from 90 migrant women, who against all odds, overcame the challenges and barriers of living in a foreign land, speaking a different language, and being singled out for the wrong reason. It is also a celebration of their journey, their power, and their contribution to a multicultural Australia.
Hear three contributors to the collection talking about their migrant stories as professional women.
- Maryam Sarrafezdeh (Iran)
- Celia Torres-Villanueva (Philippines)
- Catalina Gonzalez (Colombia)