For International Women’s Day, I attended, In Conversation – Governor-Designate The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC.
The Governonr-Designate is a White Anglo-Australian woman whose mother did not finish secondary school, as she was forced to quit at the end of Year 9 because she was impoverished. Beazley trained as a lawyer and has always been interested in, ‘The love of the “why” of things.’ Beazley began her speech talking about the history of International Women’s Day, which started as a socialist movement.
Her advice for large groups of women is: ‘There’s no good time to have children. Have your kids. Don’t think, “I’ll work for 5 years, 10 years, until I get to this grade.” You gotta let life happen in your own patterns.’ She also said that women sharing their personal stories is important. But we need more organisational level statistical surveys to unravel what’s actually happening in different sectors. For example, Beazley says the government contributes to gender pay disparity in law, because women lawyers are less likely to be employed in the private sector, and lower-paying contracts tend to be awarded to women.
She also advocated for sustainable programs that improve literacy for people who are incarcerated, so they have the necessary skills to navigate life when they are released from prison. She also said she’s keen for the state to tackle its over-policing of Aboriginal youth.