Photo credit: Prudence Upton
It is impossible to convey the brilliance that was on display at the All About Women festival at the Opera House in Sydney yesterday. How could one article ever replicate the shared wit, wisdom and insight of Annabel Crabb, Julia Baird, Jane Caro, Roxane Gay, Brigid Shulte, Anita Sarkeesian, Tara Moss, Rosie Batty, Clementine Ford, Liz Gilbert, Susan Carland, Germaine Greer, Celeste Liddel, Helen Garner, Caroline Baum, Esther Freud and more?
It can’t. Which is terribly disappointing because, I am sure, there isn’t a person in this country who wouldn’t benefit from it. For a tiny taste you can visit my Twitter stream as I shared updates from all of the sessions I attended yesterday, but be warned: it doesn’t do the day justice.
Here are 10 snippets I heard that I haven’t been able to get out of my head:
- In Australia 76% of men who work fulltime have a partner or spouse who doesn’t work or works part-time. In Australia 15% of women who work full-time have a partner or spouse who doesn’t work or works part-time. Annabel Crabb
- Denmark has a minister for gender equality who sits in Cabinet with the same level of seniority as the secretary of state. Brigid Schulte
- Scandinavian countries are not more “gender equal” by accident. The starting point there in government policies and workplace practices – is that men and women are equal. And they started this in the 70s when they recognised women being equal participants in society and the economy was necessary. Graeme Russel.
- At least five of the 15 women killed by domestic violence this year had Apprehended Violence Orders in place. An audience member at Mother Courage with Rosie Batty & Tara Moss.
- Last year 1800 RESPECT answered 55,000 calls but was unable to answer a further 20,000 calls. Indigenous women are 38 times more likely to be hospitalised due to a domestic violence assault than non-Indigenous women. Tara Moss
- Regardless of marital status, working hours and children, men in Australia do roughly the same amount of housework: 20 hours a week. “It’s like all the men of Australia signed up to some unwritten national award which keeps them at about twenty hours a week, no matter what else is going on, without telling us.” Annabel Crabb.
- Women’s angst is not diminishing. “Women are now more hairless than ever. Anorexia is a far bigger problem now than it was 20 years ago. There is terror about ageing.” Germaine Greer
- Progress won’t happen on its own accord. “If we believe progress is magic and just happens on its own then we won’t do the work to make it happen”. Anita Sarkeesian
- Childcare and unfettered access to birth control are two fundamental issues for women. And they have been for 30 years. Roxane Gay & Geraldine Doogue
- Feminism doesn’t need a rebrand. “It’s a revolutionary movement that will make people uncomfortable. That’s its job.” Jane Caro