This week at Lowther Hall we have been celebrating International Women’s Day in a variety of ways. On Wednesday, members of the Senior School Faith Committee shared their reflections on the role and representations of women in different religions. As Year 10 student, Hala spoke about her experiences as a passionate Muslim girl, I felt proud that we have a safe space for young women of different faiths and religious backgrounds to express themselves and share their thoughts. Whilst I was pleased to read this week of the fact that an all-female news team took to the screens in Afghanistan this week, we know that there is still much to be done around the world to create a global environment in which women’s voices are truly equally heard and valued. At the Lowther Women Luncheon on Thursday, we heard three female voices speak into the International Women’s Day theme, #embrace equity: Current parent, Professor the Honourable Jill Hennessy; Old Grammarian and Deputy Mayor of Moonee Valley, Councillor Samantha Byrne; and current Social Justice Prefect, Year 12 student, Sinéad Carson. These speakers reminded us not only of the work still needed to truly create equity in areas such as the accumulation of superannuation for women and the representation of women in public office. We were also encouraged to continue to support the continued work to provide opportunity and equity for First Nations women, who remain significantly under-represented across many areas where gains have been made for their non-indigenous counterparts. On a positive note, each speaker helped us to celebrate the significant progress that has been made in relation to the role and recognition of women in Australia, sharing specific reforms that they had witnessed or initiatives that they were leading, championing or implementing. With the education of young women at the core of what happens every day at Lowther Hall, International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to remember how important our work is. I hope that everyone had a happy International Women’s Day this year.

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes