Women walk for a just society
By Susanna Freymark firstname.lastname@example.org WHY do the cleaning ads on television always feature women? Could Julia Gillard be our first female Prime Minister?
Those were just some of the questions raised at a rally in Lismore yesterday to mark International Women's Day. More than 50 women gathered at Magellan Street before walking to Heritage Park.
It was the first time Sarah Horts, aged 14, of Lismore had taken part. She was there because she wanted to see more women in parliament and doesn't want women to be used as sex symbols to sell things.
Tess Brill, aged 84, of Hastings Point had a different reason for being there.
"In my mother's day it was a man's world and the laws and rules didn't recognise women," she said. "Being a wife and mother was all-consuming."
Organiser of this year's march, Kate Lavender, said she wanted to make International Women's Day a public holiday.
Her rally cry bought cheers from the crowd, which included three men.
"If United Nations can declare International Women's Day then it is important women are seen on their feet and on the street," Kate said.
While Sarah Horts was happy to miss maths and English lessons to walk, it was a more emotional day for single parent Bianca Patruno who was joined by her son Kye, aged 10. She told The Northern Star she felt discriminated against because she was a single mother. She has moved seven times and finds it difficult to rent a house in Lismore, get a loan for a new computer and to stay safe.
When she complained to her landlord about being propositioned by men, she was shocked when he said it was because she had pink curtains in her windows.
A uni student, Bianca feels she should be treated no differently to anyone else. Kye's father lives in Queensland and rarely sees his son.
"I am dealing with social discrimination every day and all I want to do is get somewhere, get my son somewhere," she said.
Marchers ended the day with a picnic in Heritage Park.