TODAY is International Women’s Day, an event first celebrated in Australia in 1928, when a rally was held in Sydney demanding equal rights and equal pay with men.
It was American women working in the garment manufacturing industry who really began the tradition. The women were paid half a man’s wage, worked in terrible conditions and weren’t able to vote.
They demonstrated in the streets of New York in 1908, and two years later, at an International Conference of Women, it was resolved to set aside a special day each year to focus on equality for women.
The Suffragettes were marching in England at the same time, demanding the right to vote. They wore green, white and violet and these colours became the symbol of the struggle. In some countries International Women’s Day is an official public holiday. The United Nations has nominated alleviation of poverty as this year’s theme.
Ballina: The celebrations in Ballina are spread across the whole week, with smaller events happening around the town every day. These include perfume sampling and champagne at Scentalicious today at 4 pm (66814934) and a free sampling of Divalicious dance classes from 5.30 pm (ring 0401204034 to register).
On Tuesday there will be jewellery making workshops at Midian’s Realm Jewellery (ring 66866343 to register) and a Business After Hours meeting at Just Funkin music from 6pm (66815049)
The main event in Ballina is a lunch for 300 women from noon at the Ballina RSL Club on Wednesday. There will be guest speakers, a sumptuous lunch and lucky door prizes. The event has been organised by the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ballina Shire Council and the NSW Office for Women. Cost is $45 per person, bookings 66815049.
For a full programme of events for the week go www.ballinatowncentre.com.au
Lismore: Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter is hosting an IWD lunch at the Zest Function Centre at Southern Cross University from noon today. Guest speakers include high profile women Janelle Saffin MP, rescue helicopter doctor Dr Erin Martin, businesswoman Jenelle Sharman and Dr Ros Derrett OAM. Contact Andy 66274406.
Lismore Women’s Resource Centre invites women to take part in painting a mural at the centre today from 9 am, followed by a free brunch at 11.30. All women are welcome. Phone 66225551.
Lismore and District Women’s Health Centre will be running a free art therapy workshop today. Priority will be given to women at risk of ill health, African refugees and Aboriginal women. Phone 66219800.
Byron Bay: Byron Shire Citizen of the Year Nicqui Yazdi will host a fundraising lunch at the Tandoor Palace where women can showcase their businesses and enjoy fun and friendship. Australia’s most Easterly Indian, Sandi Gandhi will MC the event, and guests will be entertained by Bollywood dancers and a musical performance by Karren Gimbert from the Goddess Association in Australia. There will also be a silent auction and lucky door prizes. Proceeds will go to the Youth Activities Centre (YAC) in Byron Bay.