IWD: Moments that mattered for Australian women in 2018/2019

March 7, 2019

We all know we’re in the midst of an incredible awakening surrounding women’s equality in the world.

From Serena William’s reclaiming the meaning of hysterical, to a film about period taboos in India winning an Oscar, it’s a pretty exciting time. Or at least we think so.

So, let’s pause and reflect on some of the defining cultural moments for women in Australia since our last International Women’s Day.

The moments that we see as helping to write a more positive and progressive narrative around what it means to be a woman today.

Tampon Tax

From the 1st of January this year, GST was removed from all female sanitary products and they were no longer classified as a ‘luxury’ product here in Australia.

A cause that’s been debated and deliberated for the last 20 years, it’s a simple marker of how we’re making steps towards a fairer society.

Our partnership with Bauer, The Significant Semiotics Study, uncovered four codes of women’s identity today in Australia, and is now helping to drive their female future campaigns.

The No Gender Selective Tax by Bauer Media did just that, focusing on the equity of the issue rather than it being an inherently ‘female’ issue –  and played an active role in the public conversation with huge success.

Source: Bauer Media

Jacinda Ardern

In June 2018, Jacinda became the first world leader to take maternity leave, and the second to give birth whilst in public office. Some pretty crazy statistics to break!

She has begun a paradigm shift in our expectations of the roles a female leader can play, and is increasingly spotlighting the relationship between new parents’ home and working lives.

Raising parental leave from 18 weeks to 22 weeks in New Zealand, and on track to reach 26 weeks by 2020, Jacinda is driving a deeper reflection on how we can better support parents and enable them to balance work and family.

Source: UN Women


Hannah Gadsby’s anti-comedy took the post #MeToo era by storm in June 2018, and prompted us to reappraise our self-deprecating approach to humour in Australia.

It’s a completely new forum for feminist expression and ideas made accessible through a comedy stand-up show on Netflix.

Alongside jokes about coming out to her mum and being mistaken for a man in public, her self-exposure forces you to feel another person's pain and strength, but does so in a way that also causes you to interrogate your own position. Gadsby challenges whether self-deprecation is the right way forward, because when it comes from a place of marginalisation, it just can just serve to reinforce the status quo.

Source: The Quint


Just a couple of weeks ago it was announced that over 500,000 junior girls are now playing AFL - a 14% increase from 2018.

In addition to this, there are now 2,281 female teams across Australia – an amazing 35% increase versus last year.

Two years ago, we were lucky enough to be involved in the launch of the AFLW. The focus was on fast tracking the launch of their elite women’s competition and getting in step with the momentum around women in sport. 

They wanted to make a clear statement about their beliefs on women. It was a long-term play, with an eye on not just current day players, but providing young girls around Australia something to strive towards. 

It will take time, but the AFLW has already achieved so much in its short history, and we hope it will help to change broader social narratives about what girls can and can’t do.

Source: AFL Riverina

Katie and Paul