Sunday was International Women’s Day and over the weekend, the 37th annual Mardi Gras were held. Both momentous occasions in their own right, do these events signal we still have a way to go for equality for all?
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Stephen Fry’s show ‘Out There’ aired on ABC the other night, and in the episode he visited São Paolo, Brazil and watched the world’s largest LGBTI parade, Pride, as it rolled past in all its glory. He openly wept as he saw the scores of men and women in the streets and said he dreamt of the day that the Pride Parade wasn’t seen as a political movement and instead was just a party.
Does this make you stop and think? To the LGBTI community, Mardi Gras is more than just a glittery party in Sydney, it is a chance for them to show the world that anyone – straight, gay, bisexual, intersex, transgender – can live in harmony and brightness together. But in Australia, marriage is still only legal between and man and woman, to the exclusion of no other. It is now 2015 and is it time to start to make every day a Mardi Gras celebration? Why shouldn’t everyone be equal? After all, 11 per cent of Australians are of diverse sexual orientation, sex or gender. And 76 per cent of Australians believe same sex marriage should be legal.
In the same vein, women around the world celebrated International Women’s Day proudly. It is a day to recognise the contribution of all women in society and to advocate fair rights for all – after all, that is what feminism is. But isn’t it silly, then, that we still need an international day for women? Shouldn’t every day be about women AND men? Still, if you’re a woman, you are more likely to be poor, no matter where you live in the world. You may also be one in three who have been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in any way throughout your life. Women also only hold 19 per cent of parliamentary seats worldwide, and globally, only one quarter of senior officials/managers are female. And don’t begin on the gender pay gap: here in Australia, there is a gap between males and females in the same position, of 18.8 per cent.
And some say there isn’t a problem with equality… what do you think?
Tell us your thoughts below.