March 7, 2023
On International Women’s Day 2023 we are delighted to join with others around the world in celebrating the women in our lives, communities and the Uniting Church.
While a day of celebration and affirmation, International Women’s Day has long been an opportunity to raise awareness of the many enduring barriers to true equality. In Australia, gender-based violence remains one of our most urgent social issues.
"International Women’s Day has always been a day of both celebration and awareness, and a day to call for positive change"
One Australian woman is murdered every week on average by a current or former partner and 1 in 3 women has experienced physical violence after the age of 15. One of the keys to addressing gender-based violence is the fight for gender equality.
This year we are inviting people to mark International Women's Day by taking part in Thursdays in Black, a global movement of solidarity for an end to gender-based violence. Led by the World Council of Churches since the late 1980s, participation is a simple act: wear black on Thursdays.
Uniting Church President Rev Sharon Hollis and Assembly General Secretary Colleen Geyer are global Ambassadors for Thursdays in Black.
“International Women’s Day has always been a day of both celebration and awareness, and a day to call for positive change,” said Rev Hollis. “In this spirit, we wish to invite as many people as possible across the Uniting Church to take part in Thursdays in Black tomorrow.”
“The Thursdays in Black campaign has long recognised that to truly see full equality realised and seek inclusion for all, we must uncover and address the root causes of inequality from which gender-based violence can emerge.”
Ms Geyer added, “For almost forty years Thursdays in Black has been drawing attention to the prevalence of violence in our world, but also to the strength and agency of women across the world. We affirm this strength and agency on International Women’s Day.”
“While there is much to celebrate today, we recognise that the strength and resistance symbolised by Thursdays in Black is as relevant as ever and our solidarity is still required.”
Tomorrow, Thursday 9 March, we invite you to take part in Thursdays in Black by wearing black and sharing a photo to your socials with the hashtag #ThursdaysinBlack. If you’d like to be included in our photo collage, make sure you also tag Uniting Church in Australia on Facebook or @unitingchurchau on Instagram and Twitter.
Today, as we give thanks for the women who minister, lead and share in our communities, you might take a moment to remember those who have inspired and empowered you.
Happy International Women’s Day!