Guest Blog: Prof Linda Hancock on IWD2022

March 11, 2022
Sam Findlay

In this guest blog, ACES Chief Investigator from our Deakin University node Prof Linda Hancock shares some thoughts on International Women’s Day 2022.

International Women’s Day (IWD) came out of protest. It dates back to a public protest by 15,000 women in New York City for shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Today, there is much to protest about, celebrate and strive for in the future. Celebrating IWD this week there are many events, whilst we are also in the midst of local disasters hitting communities and internationally. In all this tumult we see highlighted the role of women, parents and communities in the protection of children and the importance of communities being empowered for equality and freedom.

The global theme for International Women’s Day in 2022 is Changing Climates: Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’. This year’s theme is all about recognising and amplifying the important role women and girls around the world play in addressing climate change.

As International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) remarks: Gendered norms and ideas of what a woman’s role should be in society often mean that women and girls experience the impacts of climate change and natural disasters differently. Yet in spite of this, their voices are frequently side-lined when it comes to developing solutions to the climate crisis – with 67% of all climate-related decision-making roles currently held by men.

What can we do as members of the ACES community?

  • Educate your friends, work colleagues and families and thank those who have given you opportunities
  • Encourage all female ACES researchers to register an ACES-related profile on the website of the Australian Academy of Science if you have not already done so (this only takes a few minutes)
  • Support and actively promote the Australian Academy of the Sciences STEM Decadal plan (in collaboration with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering)
  • Wear purple, green and white as a statement of your support for equality
    • Historically, purple was a colour that denoted justice and dignity, and now it is used to represent women. Green is a symbol of hope. Today, purple is the colour of International Women’s Day, and combined with green represents the feminist movement.
  • Be deliberate in supporting those working for gender equality
  • Donate to funds that help address inequalities and discrimination and in support of human rights
  • Stand together as women and men to address discrimination, harassment and unfair treatment.

As International Women’s Development Agency says: International Women’s Day (8 March) is a day for us to join voices with people around the world and shout our message for equal rights loud and clear: “Women’s rights are human rights!” Some women feel they have not encountered discrimination or harassment, or faced systemic barriers to their success, but that’s not the experience of all women. IWD is an opportunity to acknowledge the compounded challenges faced by women of colour, women with disabilities, and queer or trans women, and stand in partnership with them.

On this one day we need to commit to calling out abuses and protecting rights everyday of the year.


Australian Academy of the Sciences STEM Decadal plan

International Women’s Development Agency

Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations History of International Women’s Day

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