Members statement: International Women's Day
On this International Women’s Day, as the world grapples with another war unfolding and our fragile peace around the world on the verge of crumbling, I want to take this moment to acknowledge the impact of war and conflict on the lives of women especially. Women are disproportionately impacted by war. They are killed and injured, displaced and plunged into poverty. They are exploited, tortured and raped in gendered acts of violence, and women and children account for the majority of refugees created by war. As we despair about the invasion of Ukraine and witness the mass movement of people, the many women and children fleeing for their lives, it is important to remember that these people seeking asylum and refuge will rely on the generosity and humanity of other nations to provide them safety. We have already seen neighbouring countries within Europe open their doors to refugees, and it is welcomed that Australia seems to have offered the same. We must now extend this generosity to all people seeking asylum and refuge across the world and those arriving in Australia. You cannot say that you care about the people fleeing Ukraine but in the next breath sanction locking up refugees in hotels in Melbourne or on offshore prison islands like Australia has done on Nauru and Manus Island.
On this International Women’s Day I stand in solidarity with all the women fleeing from wars across the world and remember that women continue to play a critical role in creating peace. It is often not recognised as it should be, but I want to send my thanks to all the women in our parliaments, the women in our communities and the women leaders across all parts of our society who continue to agitate and activate their communities to create a more peaceful world.