When the #March4Justice marches were announced, the Women for Election team went into overdrive. We were going to attend. We were going to take an active part. We were going to make our voices heard.

Many of our board members, volunteers and friends made the trek to Canberra and others attended in their home cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Here are some of the take-aways from our team.

Licia Heath, Chief Executive Officer

The empowering thing about attending these marches is less about the speeches or the signs (although both can be moving and fun) – it’s about the connection you feel with those around you. Whether they’re 80 or 18, or black or white, or able-bodied or not, or whether it’s your first march or your fiftieth – the solidarity that comes from knowing those around you recognise the problem and want to join you in addressing it is powerful.

For me… of equal power is the recognition I see dawning on people’s faces that to improve things from here, we need to get more gender and cultural diversity in our Parliaments. So here’s to more #womeninthehouse!

Jennifer Morris, Founder and Chair

In the last 2 decades of working for justice and equality for women, I don’t remember feeling as angry and as hopeful as I do right now. I am angry that we are still dealing with the same issues and hopeful as I listen to the amazing brave young women who are speaking up.

It feels like a new movement is building and it’s all-embracing… a sisterhood of women across generations, cultures, political persuasions, religions, and gender identities. A roar demanding to be heard.

Coleen MacKinnon, Director

In the wake of the historic #March4Justice, bringing 100,000 women together in over 40 cities and towns across Australia, Women for Election Australia (WFEA) caught up with dozens of #CredibleWomen in Canberra to celebrate solidarity and consider, “What’s next?”

In addition to the tireless efforts of academics, advocates and journalists, WFEA is working diligently to identify, inspire and equip women, from all across Australia, to stand for public office. When women are equally represented in our Parliaments and Legislatures, when the voices of 51% of the population are finally heard and their unique experiences considered in policy setting and lawmaking — then, we will have achieved true equality.

Amanda Webb, Director

On Monday, my daughter and I joined thousands of women and men in Canberra to #march4justice. I joined the march because I have had enough! Enough of sexual harassment, abuse and rape; enough of women who are not safe in their homes, workplace and our society; enough of one woman a week killed by a partner; enough of being paid 14% less; enough of being overlooked, not listened to or man-splained to; enough of inadequate and costly childcare and ESPECIALLY enough of governments who don’t do a damn thing about any of it!! 😤😡

 

I want action and change! I want my daughter to have a safe and equitable future. #EnoughIsEnough

Cecilia Timm, Director

My mother and I attended the Sydney #March4Justice and it was amazing. What a marvellous group of energised and activated people. The diversity was heartwarming, the collective rage relatable and an underlying feeling of hope uplifting. It’s hard to believe that we’re still asking for equality. I really thought we would have solved this by now. How is it still a thing? The fact that in 2021 a woman is valued less than a man financially, is more likely to be sexually assaulted, feels unsafe a lot of the time and can not be guaranteed safety in her home or workplace is horrifying.

Imagine the potential that could be unleashed if women no longer had to fight for equality or be ever vigilant about their personal safety. Let’s find out. Let’s change the way society treats, remunerates, belives and supports women. I can’t wait to see what we are collectively capable of.

The time for change and reckoning has come. Women have been too polite asking too sweetly for way too long. Women’s resilience has been grossly underestimated for waaaaay too long. Vote wisely, vote for women, run for office.

Andrew Butler, Director

The mood at #March4Justice in Sydney on Monday was reflective of the mood I’ve seen in many of the women in my life in recent weeks. There was an excitement, a sense of optimism that we may be approaching a tipping point and that things may actually change. And there was an outward display of humour, in the signs and banners, in the chants, in the conversations.

But just beneath the surface, there’s also visceral anger at the injustice. And it’s clearly deeply personal. A sense of exasperation and a growing impatience. And an element of sadness. As a male, it was my time to show up, to listen, to learn and contemplate how WFEA might help move the needle and improve the lives and safety of women in Australia.

Kat Dunn, Director

Like many others, I travelled from Sydney to Canberra’s Parliament House to join the March4Justice. Having worked in male-dominated industries throughout my life – law, finance, tech and venture capital – the protest felt personal. 
 
I was angry with how the Prime Minister and government handled the rape allegations against Christian Porter, who holds the highest legal office in the country. He protected Porter and, in doing so, signalled he valued protecting their image more than learning the truth of the allegations. I felt anger when Minter Ellison fired its CEO, Annette Kimmitt when she criticised the firm’s acceptance of Christian Porter as a client. The firm protected the high-status male partner, signalling it valued profits more than its junior and women employees who, with their talent and work ethic, help male partners generate profits.
 
I saw a part of myself in those women who followed their ambitions and values – and were silenced. Women contribute so much to business, government and society and instead of being respected they are violently mistreated or flippantly dismissed and we aren’t willing to be silenced on this matter anymore. Enough is enough.

Ruth McGowan OAM, Author & Facilitator 

In Victoria, local Government is addressing workplace sexual harassment, and so is the State. Now it is time for the Federal Government to act.  A safe workplace is a right for a woman in politics and for her staff. It’s time for action.

 

Catching up with three women leaders who know about harassment as politicians. Former Mayor Coral Ross (and past ALGWA President), Current State Parliamentarian Fiona Patten MLC and Julia Banks, former Federal MP for Chisholm.
These women have all lead in the political arena and like the 5000+ who gathered at the #March4Justice in Melbourne we are demanding change.


Enough is enough.

Now that we’ve marched, whats next?

Women have been asking for equality for a long time, and clearly, our requests have not been headed. It’s time for change. Enough is Enough. We can change the culture from the inside and the answer is for women to get elected. If we achieve gender parity in public office, the culture will change. The more women in the room, not only are there likely to be better outcomes, there is likely to be better behaviour.

If you want to get elected, we are here to help. It’s our sole purpose. We run in-person and online workshops to educate women and their support teams on how to get elected. Sign up for a workshop now and get elected.

Melbourne march
Brittany Higgins speaking in Canberra
Sydney Town Hall
Women marching in Canberra
The Melbourne march
The Canberra March
#March4Justice in Sydney

2000 by 2022

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