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Issue #1813      March 7, 2018

Perth celebrates IWD, One Billion Rising 2018

This week Perth was honoured to welcome Monique Wilson, director of One Billion Rising, OBR movement. Originally from the Philippines, she has been involved in performing arts since an early age. She launched the OBR dance initiative on February 14, 2013 and has taken the world by surprise with OBR groups in most countries worldwide, including a number of cities in Australia.

Monique accepted an invitation by Migrante and Gabriela WA to visit Perth on March 2-3, 2018. The CFMEU WA hosted the event to celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday March 2, at the May Holman Room, Trades Hall.

Passionate contributions were made to an audience from several unions by Monique Wilson, Jo-Ann Whalley, NTEU Murdoch President; Sandy Taylor of Preventing Violence Against Women (PVAW), and Meredith Hammat, Secretary of UnionsWA. A vibrant discussion on the need to end all types of violence against women was followed by an OBR dance performed by all present.

It was noted that capitalism is the key driver of violence towards women through the relationship of power in society. Socialism creates the conditions to end the power relationship bringing with it an end to violence against women and children. As well it eliminates the exploitation of working people, bringing greater financial security and independence to women. Until we have socialism, grassroots movements such as OBR and unions are vital to alleviate the pandemic violence experienced by women globally and their role will continue even after revolution until the day all women are safe in the streets, workplaces and homes. In Australia reports show at least 1 woman is killed a week by her partner and this statistic is shamefully growing. Australian women also lag behind men in the salaries they are paid, with a gender gap of 25 percent in some parts of the country. Unions continue their campaign to close the gender pay gap and are demanding domestic violence leave in industrial agreements.

We honour women pioneers in the women’s liberation movement, such as Clara Zetkin who said: “When the men kill, it is up to us women to fight for the preservation of life”. And Alexandra Kollontai who fought for the liberation of working men and women added: “It is only in revolutionary struggle against the capitalists of every country, and only in union with the working women and men of the whole world, that we will achieve a new and brighter future – the socialist brotherhood of the workers”.

The event was chaired by Elly Hulm, Secretary of the CPA Perth branch, and supported by the Community Union Defence League, CUDL WA.

Next article – 170th celebrations of the Communist Manifesto

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