IWD Rally 2018, Melbourne

Don't worry, there are still plenty of people out there who believe in equality

On International Women’s Day hundreds of people gathered in the centre of Melbourne CBD to march in support of gender equality. Many people were prepared with signs, t-shirts and banners with feminist messages and quotes on them, whilst others - like myself - had just their presence and their voices to add to the chants that filled the streets.

The rally moved from the front of the State Library to the steps of Parliament, shouting en-route various catchy chants such as: ‘When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!’, ‘Sexism has got to go, hey hey, ho ho’, and ‘Always was, always will be, Aboriginal lands!’. Almost everyone joined in, creating an incredible sound that was very powerful, and thrilling to be a part of.

There were some brilliant signs made by people at the rally, including: ‘Pussies have claws’, ‘The rise of woman doesn’t mean the fall of man’, ‘Respect existence or expect resistance’, ‘Girls just wanna have fun-damental human rights’, and my personal favourite: 'Everything you can do, I can do bleeding'. There were also numerous signs about trans women, such as, ‘Trans rights are human rights’, as well as signs demanding the government open the borders and welcome refugees, and an end to indigenous deaths in police custody.

Several women made speeches both outside the State Library and once we reached the steps of Parliament. Yasemin Shamsili, a student activist at Monash University, spoke passionately about the government’s plans to sell off public housing to create private homes, and how that will affect women, particularly women of colour. Kristy-Lee Tyrrell talked about the need to end violence towards women, while Jax Jacki Brown addressed LGBTQ+ and disabled women’s rights. All of the speakers were very good and I loved that there was such a broad range of topics, which expanded the conversation about gender equality to include all women, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or physical capabilities.

In fact, the highlight of the whole experience for me was seeing how inclusive feminism is. For a lot of people, feminism isn’t just about equality between men and women; it’s about equality between everyone, from every nation, of every race, religion, gender, sexuality, ancestry, political beliefs, education level and income. Seeing how many people support true equality was amazing, and being a part of such an inspirational rally was incredibly powerful.

It gave me hope that we really can make change, despite everything going on in the world, and you can rest assured that I’ll definitely be at another rally on International Women’s Day next year, wherever I am in the world.

Author

Sam Nead

Sam Nead Contributor

I am a 22 year old student who loves reading, writing and all things theatre-related. I am studying Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at Birmingham University and I'm trying to write a novel, but not doing very well at it!

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1 Comments

  • Luke Taylor

    On 22 March 2018, 09:55 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    I wish I was a part of this!!

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