It was wonderful to see David Morrison AO named Australian of the Year for his work on gender equality. He has had an amazing career and has transformed the culture of the army to be more inclusive and diverse. He has vowed to continue Rosie Batty’s work on domestic violence, build on diversity including the gender pay gap and reopen the republic debate. Yay! Yay! Yay! I’m excited about what this means in Australia in 2016. I can feel a shift coming.
Women have been fighting this fight for many years but gender based violence, the pay gap, sex discrimination and sexual harassment have stubbornly remained. Women’s voices have not been heard. In all too many cases, their voices have been silenced.
The reaction to David Morrison’s appointment has been overwhelmingly positive. In many ways, this follows the response to the United Nations and Emma Watson’s #heforshe initiative which has been overwhelmingly positive too.
What does this mean? It means we, everyone, can talk about equality. Many men I speak to say yes, they support equality and yes, they want to see things change. Until we all, men and women, from different ethnic origins, different religions, different sexual orientations, stand together and take active and intentional steps together – only then will we see a real, sustained change. And we can do this. As a nation, Australia has an amazing opportunity to really become a stand out world leader. If everyone stands together.
When I speak to men about 100 Women, they almost always say ‘that’s great, I’ll get my female (colleague/partner/boss/head of corporate social responsibility) to talk to you about it’.
I challenge this every time.
I say, actually, you could be a member of 100 Women. You are an everyday Australian who can be a philanthropist too. You can make an enormous difference to the lives of women and girls across the globe.
Yes, men can join 100 Women.
We welcome men. Men have contributed and continue to contribute to 100 Women as members, sponsors and through in-kind donations and services. It is a necessary and welcome part of the 100 Women engine room.
Why would a man join 100 Women? 100 Women member Daniel White says:
I joined 100 Women to become involved in a highly credible group that has a material impact on women and girls who are facing challenges all around the globe. I also joined to learn more about gender equality issues and to contribute and make positive change.
What would you say to other men who are interested in joining?
My experience so far is a very welcoming and friendly group of highly astute and passionate women who always look for opportunities to have maximum impact to improve the lives of women and girls. 100 Women is very encouraging for men to join and contribute to the group and the projects on foot. I could not think of a more professionally run organization that will put my membership contribution to lasting effect – Daniel White.
100 Women is about enabling everyday people to be philanthropists and to improve the lives of women and girls globally. You can be part of this movement. Members can bring a friend for free to our Grants Ceremony on Sunday, 21 February 2016, men are also welcome to join us. Engage men and women at your workplace about 100 Women. Talk to your family and friends and colleagues. Not just the women. Talk to all of them. We can do this together. Why? To paraphrase Canadian PM Justin Trudeau (another great man that walks the walk on gender equality) – because it’s 2016.
Cheryl Chan is on the Board of 100 Women, a Perth based giving circle which aims to enable everyday people to become philanthropists by granting to organisations that assist women and girls in the areas of health, safety and education. She is also the Chair of the Operations and Finance sub-committee.