Get on the Soapbox in Otago for International Women's Day

( “International Women’s Day means different things to different people. For some it’s a celebration, for others it’s a call to action to accelerate gender parity, and for many it’s an opportunity to align and promote relevant activity. Whatever your objective, International Women’s Day is the perfect moment for gender-focused action,” states (

International Women’s Day (IWD) will be celebrated on Wednesday, 8 March 2017. This event is marked throughout the world and has a long history beginning in the early 20th century with labour movements in the U.S. and Europe. The United Nations’ Theme for 2017 is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030,” with a focus on “unlocking the full potential of women in the world of work” through women’s economic empowerment in a world that is changing daily due to globalization, technology, war, and environmental challenges, according to the UN’s website. Some key issues of the UN’s strategy include: bridging the gender pay gap (globally at 24%); recognition of women’s unpaid work and disproportionate representation in low-paid care work; changes to gender gaps in business and government leadership positions; and development and implementation of “gender-responsive economic policies” in areas such as job creation, protection from workplace violence, and reduction of poverty, to name just a few.

Dunedin will be hosting its own activities to mark the occasion, including a lunchtime opportunity for public speaking. In support of another IWD theme of “Be Bold for Change,” a soapbox and open microphone will be available at the Otago Museum Reserve from 11am to 2pm for women and their supporters to step up and speak about issues that are important to you. Time slots for speeches, rants, readings, songs, or any other verbal performance will be approximately 5 minutes’ long. A number of speakers are already confirmed, and these include Carol Moulin, Bell Murphy, Tahu MacKenzie, a representative from Te Whare Pounamu
, Tania Williams, 
Lucy Gray (representing the PSA), a representative from Rape Crisis Dunedin, 
Aroha Ngatai, and 
Mandy Mayhem-Bullock.

If you are not interested in getting on the soapbox, feel free to simply join us for a picnic lunch and listen to local women give voice to their concerns, their passions, and their thoughts. Bring a friend and/or meet new friends. Everyone is welcome. For more information on this event, contact Tracey Crampton-Smith at or Cindy Hall at