What's happening in Melbourne for International Women's Day 2019

Stand in solidarity with your fellow sisters. 

In 1902, after 14 years of fighting, Australia became the second country in the world to pass an act which allowed women to vote in federal elections – though it was another 60 years before that right was extended to Indigenous women and men. Over the subsequent years and decades, women have fought for basic rights including the ability to legally purchase or drink alcohol in a pub without a male companion present and the criminalisation of rape in marriage, which was not enforced nationwide until 1994.

You’d think by now we’d have reached equality, yet women and gender diverse Australians, especially people of colour, are still faced with discrimination, social issues and barriers that simply do not apply to men. That’s not to mention the oppression faced by women in a multitude of countries and cultures across the globe. International Women’s Day is not only an opportunity to stand together, make our voices heard and fight for a better future, it is a day to celebrate women throughout history without who we would not have the rights and opportunities we have today. Here's what you can get involved with this International Women's Day. 

International Women’s Day Rally

Taking place in Melbourne’s CBD, the International Women’s Day Rally will see Melburnians marching in solidarity to help end gender inequality, discrimination and transphobia. The event organisers have devised a list of political demands including justice for First Nations people, Indigenous workers’ rights and land rights, equal pay, access to permanent residence and citizenship rights for all refugees and migrant workers, and a living wage for all women. The march will begin at the State Library of Victoria at 5.30pm. A full list of demands can be found on the official event page.

International Women’s Day at ACMI

Not only did the #MeToo and subsequent Time’s Up movements shake the foundations of screen culture, but they also had a seismic effect on society as a whole. Although women, especially those in film and television, have been liberated through these movements, there is still a myriad of issues and inequalities within the industry. This International Women's Day, a panel of women and nonbinary professionals in the screen and moving image industry, including Nakuka Gorrie, Santilla Chingaipe, Atong Atem, Bhenji Ra, Lisy Kane & Leila Gurruwiwi, will join together in conversation to consider the rise of popular feminism in screen culture. In addition to the conversation, Bhenji Ra will host a voguing workshop, DJs MzRizk, DJ Gupster and the panellists will sling tunes on the decks and there will be virtual reality experiences, video games and video art aplenty. It’s happening at ACMI from 6pm. Tickets are available via the ACMI website.

Stone Love live at PBS 

Beloved Melbourne institution PBS is once again putting on its International Women's Day live music spectacular. The lineup includes some stellar acts, with P-UniQue, Alice Ivy and Sugar Fed Leopards all gearing up to make an appearance in Collingwood. But you don't just have to listen from your radio, as PBS are inviting the public to walk through the doors and witness the live performances in person from 5.00pm — 7.00pm. It all happens within the PBS building at Studio 5. RSVPs are essential so head to PBS' Facebook event to get the low down.

International Women’s Day Live at Triple R

Triple R will be celebrating International Women’s Day by promoting female and gender non-conforming artists and broadcasters and devoting the airwaves to them all day long this Friday March 8. To cap off the day, Zara Kravchenko’s Dropout Boogie program will feature live sets from V, Moody Beaches, Evelyn Ida Morris and Racerage in what is set to be an eclectic showcase of female and gender non-conforming talent. Triple R subscribers are invited to attend the gigs at Triple R Performance Space from 6.30pm, but if you can’t head along make sure to tune in at 102.7FM throughout the day.

Girl Rising International Women's Day film screening

Across the world, girls are faced with barriers to education that do not affect boys. As a bid to recognise the importance of education and the ways societies still undervalue women and girls, Brunswick feminist café Handsome Her will showcase a special screening of Girl Rising this International Women’s Day. Girl Rising is a documentary which follows young girls from Haiti, Nepal, Ethiopia, India, Egypt, Peru, Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan whose access to education has been compromised due to their gender. Along with the film, the evening will include dinner, drinks and a discussion about the film. Doors open at 5.30pm with the screening taking place at 7.30pm. Tickets are available via TryBooking, with $5 from each ticket sale will be donated to the Girl Rising education campaign.

International Women’s Day Art Exhibition

Malvern East’s Guggenart gallery will showcase the works of women this International Women's Day, with an exhibition dedicated to local female artists. Art from Aliki Kapoor, Genna Kaye, Cathy Usatoff, Kimmi Lee, Joan Blond, Jen Tumiati and Camilla Cicoria will decorate the walls of Guggenart to represent the well of female talent within the Melbourne art world. Not only will the exhibition be visually stimulating and provide an opportunity to celebrate women in the art world, there will be drinks and finger food so you can toast the women of the world and feel a little bit fancy while you do so. The International Women’s Day Art Exhibition will take place from 7pm until 8pm at Guggenart, free entry.