South West women unite to fight gendered injustice

Headshot of Ailish Delaney
Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
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Protestors listen to speakers outside Forrest MHR Nola Marino's office.
Camera IconProtestors listen to speakers outside Forrest MHR Nola Marino's office. Credit: Ailish Delaney / South Western Times

Hundreds of South West community members banded together to shout as one on Monday as they called for an end to gendered injustice and violence against women.

Sparked by the wave of allegations that shocked Australia’s Parliament, March4Justice rallies took place nationwide as thousands protested against the sexual abuse and harassment of women.

Protesters marched along Victoria Street to Forrest MHR Nola Marino’s office to deliver letters calling for reform to the processes dealing with victims of sexual abuse.

Event organiser Aoife McGreal said the day was a platform for women to share their stories and be heard.

“There is power in numbers and when women get together for one common goal they can do amazing things,” she said.

Ms McGreal said it was not about whether “all men” were bad, but about everyone playing a role to shift the culture.

“Men who think that they’re good men can also be the men who sit silently by when their mates are making jokes at women’s expense and that’s where it begins,” she said.

“We need to help our boys and men and educate them more around misogyny and toxic masculinity — it all feeds into this culture.”

Why do we always have to stay in groups to feel safe? Why do we always have to live in fear?

Bella Burgemeister

Bella encouraged girls under 18 to join her at the front to show the crowd whose future was at stake.

“We don't want to grow up in a society where we have watch what we wear, where we can’t walk late at night, where we can’t be too attractive and where speaking out gets you nowhere but more abuse,” she said.

“Why do we always have to stay in groups to feel safe?

“Why do we always have to live in fear?

“Don’t we deserve the right to live in our own homes and communities and feel safe?

“Enough is enough.”

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