International Women's Day 2021

IWD 2021 logo.jpg

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world on 8 March to acknowledge the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender equality. 

The United Nation's theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. It will honour the tremendous efforts by women and girls on the frontline of the COVID crisis.

Gender equity through COVID-19

Economic crises hit women harder. Women tend to earn less, have fewer savings, are disproportionately more in the informal economy, are more likely to be burdened with unpaid care, school support and domestic work, and therefore may need to decrease their time in the labour force, and women make up the majority of single parent households.  

There are several studies, including from the United Nations to Women’s Health Australia that are highlighting and helping people understand that COVID-19 has amplified existing structural inequalities.  Documenting the experience of the pandemic and its impact on gender equality is crucial to identifying what is needed in economic and social policy. 

COVID-19 women at the frontline 

Women are highly represented at the frontline of our response to the pandemic.  According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, nationally nearly four in five workers in health care and social assistance are women. Their roles are as nurses, midwives, doctors, pharmacists, allied heath, aged care, social workers and community childcare workers and teachers.  

Many female-dominated industries (other than healthcare) such as accommodation, food services, arts and recreation have been among the hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic. During 2020, Victorian weekly payroll data showed that the rate of female job loss was almost five times the rate for men. 


There are some great ways to celebrate International Women’s Day in Hobsons Bay and learn about the history of activism and people making a difference. 

  • On Thursday 11 March at 5.30pm, Hobsons Bay Libraries will host a film screening of Brazen Hussies at Williamstown Library. Brazen Hussies is a 2020 Australian documentary recording the history of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia from 1965 to 1975.  It was released in November 2020 after screening at the Brisbane and Adelaide Film Festivals. The free screening is also part of the Taking the Lead mini film festival in the west and is supported by Women’s Health West. SOLD OUT.
  • Buy tickets to the comedy program presented by Local promoter Stella Kinsella will bring a program of comedy to the Newport Bowls club with three big events in March and April - Confessions of Women Like Us, Country Witches Association and Neurological Misfires (April). Book at


There are also other ways to support International Women’s Day. Support businesses owned and operated by women and find out more about networks that promote and provide opportunities for women. Join the Hobsons Bay Boomerang Bags crew and sew reusable cloth bags or volunteer alongside the 2021 Hobsons Bay Young Citizen of the Year Melissa Sheedy and 2019 Citizen of the Year Marilyn Olliff at the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre.

If music is your thing, join local women’s community choir Willin Wimmin or enjoy the many public art pieces in Hobsons Bay produced by women, such as Pauline Fraser’s Seaborn at Altona Pier, Ness Flett’s street art in Aviation Road, Anuradha Patel’s Whirlpool installation at the Warmies and Williamstown Botanic Gardens, Aretha Brown’s We Are Here mural at Challis Street and more.

On this International Women’s Day, we thank and celebrate all women in the health and frontline industries for their efforts and contribution, particularly over the past 12 months.