23 Feb What International Women’s Day means to Gladstone Women’s Health Centre
Trish Lisle, the CEO of Gladstone Women’s Health Centre reflects on what International Women’s Day means to her.
“International Women’s Day, for me, is about celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, not only in our local communities but also at a National and International level. It’s an important day that allows us to celebrate the achievements of women, advocate for gender parity as well as reminding communities that forging gender parity does not mean the fall of men, and that everyone has a role in contributing. Women provide such significant contributions to society, across various roles and environments that everyone should be embracing equity, and advocating for women to be acknowledged, treated, and entitled to equality across all of life’s domains,” said Ms. Lisle.
“As we move into the exciting times where communities expect diversity, equity, and inclusion, it shifts the focus of gender equity being placed on women alone and calls for everyone to become involved in closing gender gaps and improving equality. As individuals in communities, it is our responsibility to be inclusive and encourage diversity in our personal and professional lives, without the bias of gender. Achieving gender equality requires the active involvement and commitment of people from all genders to challenge and change the social norms and attitudes that perpetuate gender-based discrimination and inequality.”
Some ways that you can contribute to creating gender equity are:
- Educating yourself: Gain a deeper understanding of gender equality, the ways in which gender discrimination and bias affect people, and the impact they have on society.
- Speak out against gender-based violence and discrimination: Take a stand against gender-based violence and discrimination, whether it’s through speaking out, supporting survivors, advocating for policies that protect and promote the rights of all genders.
- Challenge gender stereotypes: Refrain from perpetuating and reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes, and actively challenge those that you encounter.
- Advocate for gender-inclusive policies and practices: Advocate for policies and practices that promote gender equity and support all individuals, regardless of their gender.
- Lead by example: Model equitable and inclusive behaviours in your personal and professional life whilst encouraging others to do the same.
“In our community, it is exciting to observe men advocating and being champions of change for women’s equality. Having men as allies and joining us on the journey of equality for all genders has been recognised as a major trend in accelerating progress in multiple areas.”
The Gladstone Women’s Health Centre is a not-for-profit organisation, overseen by a management committee with responsibility for the governance of the centre. The group was formed in 1992, became incorporated in 1993, and was financed through fund-raising events memberships, and donations from interested parties.
The first Women’s Health Centre operated as a drop-in centre from 5pm to 9pm on Thursdays, and as the demand for services increased, so too did the Centre. Over the course of time, the Centre has had several changes of premises, each time expanding services, facilities and client groups as funding allowed.
Today’s centre is located at 65 Central Lane, and is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4:30pm; offering the widest range of services to the most diverse client group in its history.
“Gladstone Women’s Health Centre has proudly served the Gladstone community for over 30 years. We currently provide several supports and services relating to domestic and family violence, women’s health, sexual assault, and youth sexual assault.
“Our aim every day is to provide accessible support, advocacy, education and social change services that promote health, safety, equality and wellbeing for women and their families; in partnership with like-minded community stakeholders.”