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March: The Difference Between Equity and Equality: International Women's Day 2023

by Ashlee Simpson on 2023-03-01T09:10:00+11:00 | 0 Comments

Image: via UN Women Australia. 

In her Australian of the Year 2021 acceptance speech, Australian women’s activist Grace Tame declared:

 “Well hear me now. Using my voice, amongst a growing chorus of voices that will not be silenced.” 

Image: via ABC 2021

Driven by the suffering, empowered by the voices, and advocating for survivors of sexual assault – Tame is a woman who embraces equity by playing a part in being an encouraging voice.

The team behind International Women’s Day advocate for fairness and the empowering of voice, like Grace Tame, and work to 'celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to drive gender parity’ (IWD 2023). This year’s celebration will be held on Wednesday 8th, March internationally, and Friday 3rd, March in Australia, with the theme of #EmbraceEquity and ‘Cracking the Code’.

Image: via IWD 2023.

‘Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.

            A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA.

            And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.

            The IWD 2023 campaign theme drives worldwide understanding why Equal opportunities aren’t enough!
            (IWD 2023)

So: What is the difference between Equity and Equality?

The team behind Participate Learning articulates this difference in this short clip, where we can understand the importance of recognising the impacts of equality and equity. 'Equity can be defined as giving everyone what they need to be successful… it’s not giving everyone the exact same thing’ (IWD 2023). Intersectionality plays a huge part in determining the difference between equity and equality, nonetheless, as ‘equality focuses on providing all genders with equal opportunities… yet woman often require more than a level playing field. They need to belong in a global culture that actively promotes and supports them in all aspects of their life' (IWD 2023). 

Image: via IWD 2023.

Hence, International Women’s Day is working to #EmbraceEquity; to allow all members of our society the equal opportunity of inclusion by providing support for individual needs. The team behind the Australian movement encourage the day to create ‘new social, economic and cultural codes for a gender equal future’ (UN Women Australia 2023).

‘When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. We embrace equity to forge harmony and unity. Through the process of equity, we can reach equality’ (IWD 2023). 

During the International Women’s Day celebrations in Australia, events and discussions will follow the notion of Cracking the Code. ‘Cracking the Code highlights the role that bold, transformative ideas, inclusive technologies, and accessible education can play in combatting discrimination and the marginalisation of women globally’ (UN Women Australia 2023).

So, let us embrace equity – and each other – this March: fighting towards a gender-equal society and crack the code to gender equality.


Recommended Reads:

Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough

Described as ‘a fiercely funny, queer romantic comedy about two girls who can’t stand each other, but join forces in a grand feminist plan to expose harassment and inequality at their elite private school’ (Google Books), Erin Gough’s fictional novel sees the duo work to expose their school’s many problems. This novel is a feminist fairy-tale of sorts: the text toys with modern literary tropes such as technology and the school setting with an immersive fast pace.
Available from the East campus library.





Loving protection? : Australian Feminism and Aboriginal Women’s Rights 1919 – 1939 by Fiona Paisley

Loving Protection? tells the little-known story of feminist history and race relations amongst the white Australian feminists who vigorously promoted the rights of Indigenous women in the 1920s and 30s. Through this text, we see author Fiona Paisley moving away from an emphasis on the suffrage campaigns and concentrates on the feminist manifestations of Australian Indigenous women. Chapters from the text include ‘Critics of Assimilation’, ‘International Women for Indigenous Rights’, ‘A dept of Reparation’, ‘Protecting Aboriginal Women and Children’, ‘Nationalising the Aborigines’, ‘In the Eyes of the world’, ‘Tyranny’, and concluding with ‘Feminism and Settler Colonialism’.
Available from the City campus library.




Growing Up Queer in Australia edited by Benjamin Law

A collection of moving, personal essays and a part of the ‘Growing Up … in Australia’ anthologies, Benjamin Law illustrates the intersectional identities he has grappled, accompanied by a series of life writing experiences in order to illustrate the spectrum of LGBTQIA+ identities within Australia. From individual’s discovering sexuality, to exploring how to define “desire”, Law has arranged an incredibly emotional, personal anthology where authors explore themes of identity and belonging, queer culture, self-acceptance, gender stereotypes, and society and culture.
Available from both the City and East campus libraries. 




            IWD (2023) ‘International Women’s Day 2023 campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity', International Women’s Day, retrieved 27 February 2023.  

Tame G (26 January 2021) ‘Hear me now’: Australian of the Year Grace Tame’s speech in full [speech, media release], ABC, retrieved 27 February 2023.

UN Women Australia (2023) ‘International Women’s Day’, UN Women Australia, retrieved 27 February 2023.

Words by Ashlee Simpson, Digital & Library Engagement Officer. 

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