Women to mark equality

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Carol Thomas, Michelle Salisbury, Janet McArtney and Deborah Symes.
Camera IconCarol Thomas, Michelle Salisbury, Janet McArtney and Deborah Symes. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Today is International Women’s Day — a day for people to think about the equality their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends deserve.

With multiple events around Albany, today is filled with opportunities to learn about the longstanding changes everyone can make towards gender equality.

The 2019 campaign theme is Balance for Better and focuses on gender balance in every society across the globe.

The annual Join Women on the Bridge event, where the Albany Women’s Centre Kare Kits are launched each year, is one of the ways people can help women struggling in the Great Southern region.

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The Kare Kits donation drive encourages people to donate toiletries and toiletry bags, gift cards for food and clothing, children’s clothing and school supplies, to go to local women experiencing family and domestic violence.

Albany Soroptimist International’s Carol Thomas said the campaign started internationally in 2010, when women from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo joined together on a bridge connecting their two countries, which were on opposing sides of war.

“Every day we can listen and talk to another woman and validate her existence, be she relative, friend, neighbour or someone we just met,” she said.

“More widely on a daily basis we can let others know we are there to listen to when things are not going well and speak up when we hear or see things that are indicative of belittlement or violence and be kinder, less judgmental, more tolerant of difference.

“The Kare Kits have been going for a number of years, and the Soroptomist-Anglicare partnership is launched annually on International Women’s Day to coincide with the Join me on the Bridge event.

“The donations help enormously in the basics of keeping and feeling clean, having supplies to send your kids to school with and when setting up a new home.”

Donations to the Albany Soroptimist International — and the Kare Kits — can be made through the entire year at Anglicare WA on Collie Street, of during the donation drive, which runs until April, at various locations.

During the donation drive, donations can be made at Anglicare, Vancouver Arts Centre, ALAC, Albany Library, NAB, Terry White Chemmart, Leading Edge Computers, Bendigo Bank Mt Barker and NAB Denmark.

The Join Women on the Bridge event will be held at noon today at the Stirling Terrace pedestrian bridge to raise awareness and launch the Kare Kits.

Other events:

Point Possession Trail – International Women’s Day Hike

Walk the Point Possession Heritage trail on the Vancouver Peninsula. She Seeks Adventure is celebrating with a coastal hike in honour of women's outstanding achievements in sports and adventure. From 9am to 12pm. Tickets available at www.downunderdiscoveries.com

Southern Aboriginal Cooperation International Women’s Day

Guest speakers and special performances will give an insight into what we can all do to better gender equality. The event is a celebration of where women have come from and where the future can still go. From 10:30am to 12:30pm. At the SAC building on Kelly Street.

Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Albany and Great Southern Women Leadership Forum

Providing an opportunity for women in Albany and the Great Southern to network and explore solutions to the challenges of leadership and lifestyle facing today’s modern regional women. 8:30pm to 5:30pm at the Beryl Grant Community Centre. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com.au.

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