Speaking at International Womans day at the CWA Hall in Lennox Head Sally Nabiswa of Goonellabah with Co-ordinator Kate Lavender of Lennox Head.
Speaking at International Womans day at the CWA Hall in Lennox Head Sally Nabiswa of Goonellabah with Co-ordinator Kate Lavender of Lennox Head. Doug Eaton

Prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day

TOMORROW is International Women's Day, and for the occasion a number of events are being held across the Northern Rivers.

The day, which is held to inspire women, celebrate achievements and raise awareness of injustices, has been observed since the early 1900s and today is a recognised holiday in a great number of countries across the globe.

Yesterday, events kicked off with a luncheon held by the Lennox Head Women's Group at the Lennox Head CWA Hall, where women, among them three Central African women who now call Australia home, spoke on various issues relating to women globally.

Kate Lavender, one member of the organizing committee of the Lennox Head Women's Group luncheon, called Listening to the Voices of African Women, said International Women's Day was a chance to acknowledge the participation and rights of women in every country across the world.

Three Central African women - Sally Nabiswa, of Kenya, Margaret Khanjila Mutisya, also of Kenya, and Emilienne Mukarwema, of Rwanda - spoke about issues close to their hearts.

Ms Lavender said part of International Women's Day was to recognize the struggles that women face in areas across the world.

"We think it's important to be aware of the lives of women in all parts of the world," Ms Lavender said.

Many women in Australia admire African women like these, for the struggles they've faced and the strength they've shown, and so, she said, it was a fantastic thing to have these women speaking at the event.

Mrs Nabiswa, an aged care nurse in Lismore, said on Tuesday that having come from Kenya to Australia two years ago, she said she realizes how far behind women's rights are in some African nations compared to here.

At the luncheon, Mrs Nabiswa spoke speaking about female circumcision, what she describes as abuse on young girls.

"It is still being practiced in Kenya, and in my own tribe," she said.

Mrs Nabiswa said she wished to raise awareness of the female genital mutilation, the abuse young girls undergo for it, and the long-lasting health effects it causes.

 

Local International Women's Day Events:

  • Ballina: Luncheon at the Ballina RSL Club - todayThursday, $40-$45 per head. Contact Nadia Eliot-Burgess info@ballinachamber.com.au or 6681 5049.
  • Lismore: Morning Tea at Southern Cross University - TomorrowFriday 10.30-11.30am, Zest Function Room. 'Ending Violence Against Women' Supporting the UN Women (National Committee Australia) Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women theme. Visit scu.edu.au
  • Lennox Head: Luncheon from Beef+Beach Lennox Head with Stephanie Read from Project Futures and Bronwyn Thirkell author from One Sunny Day. TodayThursday from 12:30pm. $45 per head, visit lennoxchamber.com.au
  • Lennox Head: Real Media for Real Change Reclaiming Your Natural Rhythm Within Our Modern Times: Film and App launch - TomorrowFriday, 9-11am (registration 8.45am), Lennox Head Community Centre, NSW.


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