Young UN Women Australia Perth
Photo by: Jessica Lockhart
Runway for a Reason/Robert Foltz
Young UN Women Australia Perth â€˘ December 2011
From the YUNWA Perth Committee Chair|Chair’s Report
elcome to our December zine. In this issue you can read all about our biggest ever fundraising event, Runway for a Reason (and maybe spot your photo too if you came along on the night!) This Spring Campaign event raised over $8,000 in total – half of which went to the UN Women Pacific Facility Fund and half of which went to Hope Uganda. You can also read some great policy pieces on women and the Commonwealth, and violence against women from a male perspective. We are delighted that Will Veldman has allowed us to use his White Ribbon Day article, and hope to have more male contributors to our zine in the future. Since our last zine, in between organising Runway for a Reason, YUNWA Perth has been kept busy with various events and initiatives. In October, Martina Ucnikova and I were lucky enough to present a session at the Oaktree Global Community Forum. We spoke about the third Millennium Development Goal – gender equality - to a room full of some of the most engaged young people we have ever met. It was a pleasure to be involved in the Forum and to have the opportunity to meet so many young community leaders who are deeply interested in gender equality. One of those leaders at the Forum was Ellie Kotkis – you can read her and Katelynn Thomas-Hall’s joint feature article on body image in this zine. Speaking of young leaders, last month I spoke at the Australian Institute of International Affairs WA branch meeting about the position of women in Afghanistan. The first speaker was a young woman called Samira Nabizadah
who came to Australia with her family when she was a child as a refugee from Afghanistan. As I said to her on the night, I really hope that many, many more people get to hear her story, which was moving and confronting. If you would like to read more about UN Women in Afghanistan, click here. On the other side of Asia, in rural Vietnam, UN Women is fundraising to strengthen and support women’s capacity to respond to natural disasters in our Christmas campaign. If you’re looking for a gift for a Secret Santa or that hard-to-buy for relative or friend, please consider purchasing a Global Gift. For just $22, you can (for example) provide training in disaster risk reduction for a women in Vietnam. More gift options are available here. It’s also the time of year when we’re all looking for a good read over the Christmas break. Book nerd that I am, I’ll leave you with my recommended reading list for people interested in gender issues: •The Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry •The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh •The Hand that First Held Mine – Maggie O’Farrell •The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot •Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert •Bossypants – Tina Fey (in preparation for Feminist Book Club in January).
Got some even better suggestions? Let me know on Twitter - @annaj21 Dates for your diary
16 January 2012 – Feminist Book Club – “Bossypants” @ the George 2 February 2012 – Women in Diplomacy @ Freehills 9 March 2012 – International Women’s Day Breakfast @ the Convention Centre
Happy holidays! Anna Johnson Chair
Young UN Women Australia Perth Committee
Want to get move involved in YUNWA Perth? Email our Memberships and Volunteers Coordinator, Anna Larson, at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
TABLE Of contents 2 ................... Chair’s Report: Anna Johnson 4....................... Event: Runway for a Reason 7 ............... Designer Profile: Little Gracie 8... UWA President’s Report: Emma Tormey 9..... POV:GenderIssuesforHighSchoolStudents 10. ‘Plus sized’ In the Modelling Industry 12......................................White Ribbon Day 14. Women’s Rights and the Commonwealth 15.........................................Christmas Note
UN Photo/Martine Perret
EVENT Runway for a Reason |by Alice Farley
A sellout crowd quickly filled Skatt Mt Hawthorn on Friday 25th November for a stylish night of fashion, fundraising and global entertainment. With a stellar line-up of some of Perth’s most exciting emerging designers, Runway for a Reason proved to be a great success raising approximately $8,000 for two very deserving international development programs-HOPE Uganda and the UN Women Pacific Facility Fund.
“The pacific facility
fund will be using the funds raised to make grants to grass roots organisations in the Pacific working towards reducing violence against women...”
elated and the crowds made their way to the nearby Malt nightclub to party the night away. A big thank you to all who attended, our lovely models, designers, Skatt, committee members who made this possible and our wonderful sponsors for their support: Ansel, Box Magazine, Danza Loca, Office People, Betts, Skatt, Hog’s Breath Café, Garbin Estate Wines, Luna Cinemas, Mondo Nougat, Cullen Wines, We Wood watches, Chapel Farm, and Lords, Subiaco. The Pacific Facility Fund will be using the funds raised to make grants to grass roots organisations in the Pacific working towards reducing violence against women, while the funds for Hope Uganda will complete the construction of their girls’ school.
A collaboration between the Young UN Women Australia Perth committee and the Rotaract Club of Perth, Runway for a Reason featured designs by Little Gracie, On A Whim, Batchelor, Bhalo, Tobi, Charley Spencer, Shinead Gecas, Rosie and Broken, Huss Lifestyle and Leanne Lim, with all shoes graciously supplied by Betts. Newly appointed local Mayor of the City of Vincent, Alannah McTiernan was the emcee for the evening with entertainment provided by a cappella vocal ensemble Tendera. As the audience swelled, all eyes were on the catwalk where a great range of garments from cocktail dresses to vintage inspired numbers, casual clothes to evening wear had the photographers snapping. As the evening drew to a close, and the models filed onto the catwalk for the finale walk it was time to draw the winners of the raffle prizes-a fantastic weekend getaway for two at Chapel Farm in the Swan Valley, a stylish pair of Betts high heels, a trendy WeWood Watch and a delicious Mondo Nougat Hamper. Needless to say, the winners we
Runway for a Reason/Robert Foltz
Runway for a Reason/Robert Foltz
Runway for a Reason/Robert Foltz
designer PROFILE Little Gracie
|by Alice Farley
1. What’s your design background? I studied for 2 years at Fremantle Challenger TAFE and then moved to do my final diploma year at Bentley Swan TAFE in 2009. 2. What influences your designs? I get a lot of my inspiration from nature and flowers. I love the formation and uniqueness of flowers. And I also love looking back 10-15 years ago especially the 1950’s era and gaining inspiration from times gone by. I love visiting my Nan and listening to her tell stories of dances they use to have and their type of lifestyle they used to live. I try to recreate that feeling in most of my designs. 3. Describe the Little Gracie aesthetic? Little Gracie is girly, old world charmish and anything with a frill on it pretty much. It’s about dressing up and being an individual. Every piece is designed to have a different interesting element...I want to design garments that makes girls’ hearts flutter - that dress that you fall in love with. I try to tell a story with every collection. The basic story behind Little Gracie is ‘boy meets girl’ - a young love. 3. Describe the person you design for? A girl who isn’t afraid to dress up and stand out in a crowd. A girl between the ages of 14-30. I only design with colour, never black. It makes you feel more confident. I think people wear too much black these days. 4. Tell us about your connection to Young UN Women? I first started working with Young UN Women earlier this year, when I was asked to create a dress for ‘Eliza’, the statue in the Swan River for International Women’s Day. I loved making the dress; it was a different and challenging experience. 5. How did you get involved in Runway for a Reason? After previously being involved with ‘Eliza’ , I was contacted to be a part of it. I thought it was a brilliant opportunity to show my support and be apart of a great cause. 6. Why do you think gender equality is important? I think these days with changes in everyday society happening very quickly, everybody deserves to feel equal. We all deserve the right to have an equal say. Otherwise we never move forward. 7. What do you think are the biggest hurdles that still need to be overcome? I think the biggest thing we still need to overcome is the abuse of women. It’s not spoken about very often so therefore we don’t turn our attention to it. We need to make it so that women can feel safe and okay with turning to someone and getting help for it. Otherwise it will just become a hidden problem. 8. Who is your favourite woman and why? I have always been mesmerized by Audrey Hepburn and her time with young underprivileged children. It’s been my dream since a little girl to do what she did with them and visit orphanages with my mum. I think it’s an amazing quality to have, to give yourself to someone less fortunate. 9. Where can we buy your garments? Harry and Gretel- Leederville Em Clothing- Subiaco Lady Petrova- Melbourne www.littlegracie.com.au
Emma Tormey|UWA President’s Report
The Young UN Women UWA Committee has enjoyed a successful first year. The first semester event was focused on the sex trafficking industry and we were privileged enough to host the 2010 CNN Hero of the year Anuradha Koirala, who spoke about her work to empower young women abused and exploited in the sex trafficking industry and her work with Maiti Nepal. Anuradha opened our eyes to a whole other world, providing insights into the industry, which we couldn’t have imagined. Recently the committee held their second semester event, a breakfast at Miss Maud’s in Perth City. The breakfast was themed “you have to be the change you want to see in the world,” inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s famous words. We had three guest speakers, all young people from Perth who are actively involved in the community, who spoke about the change they wanted to see in their life time and how that change could be brought about. Special thanks to the Chair of Young UN Women Australia Perth, Anna Johnson, Luke O’Keefe, co-founder of eighty twenty vision and Vasili Hatzis from Amnesty International, who each presented on the day. The guests of the breakfast were then invited to actively participate in the change they wanted to see in the world and the ideas which were generated can be viewed on our blog. The money raised from the event will be given to UN Women Pacific Facility Fund. As the academic year comes to a close, I have been very proud to lead such a dynamic and resourceful committee. Young UN Women UWA has managed to run successful and engaging events in its first year and I hope this can be carried through into future years. The UWA experience is now being used as a model to set up clubs at Curtin University and Notre Dame, which is momentus step for
Young UN Women Australia Perth, to tap into University students across Perth. Before I close, I would like to thank Davina Hunter, our treasurer for 2011. Davina has brought her club management experience and treasury skills to the UWA committee, which has been a major part of the UWA club’s success. Davina is graduating at the end of this year, so her involvement in the campus club is drawing to a close. I hope that other motivated young people will follow in her footsteps and join the campus clubs of Young UN Women Australia Perth.
Emma Tormey UWA President 2011
Runway for a Reason/Robert Foltz
Gender issues for High School Students |by Katelynn Thomas-Hall and Ellie Kotkis
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn knew better than anyone the pressures placed upon outward appearance, living in the social eye 24/7. Yet, it stands as a testament to her strength that she did not once give in to everyone else’s idea of perfection. In today’s society, we tend to forget about role models of the past such as Audrey Hepburn and instead look towards the medias portrayal of perfection.
By being continually bombarded with this idea of perfection this generation of women are growing up feeling inadequate and insecure. They also forget these three basic principles which should guide their life but instead are solely focused of others’ views on them. There are still far too many girls who neglect Audrey’s view of perfection. This is a determining factor in the way this generation of women is being brought up. We need change. As young women in high school, we face the constant issues of body image, social isolation, peer pressure, self-esteem and bullying, just to name a few. This generation is a beautiful one with so much potential to give, yet this potential is being suppressed by this constant need to conform. This pressure is being instilled within themselves from an increasingly younger age. The oversexualisation of young women has hit an all time high, affecting even the toys young girls play with such as midriff-bearing ‘Baby Bratz Dolls’. Just twenty years ago, models weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, they weigh 23% less than the average woman. The even more shocking part of that is such models are photo shopped and airbrushed further which is the image we are trying to achieve - one that is completely unrealistic.
with such disregard when most people understand what it is like to be on the receiving end of such mistreatment? It is so disheartening to witness what is sadly becoming a common cycle in high school life. Therefore we are focused and highly passionate about making a change. Enlightened to these issues it has become our mission to establish a new and informed way of thinking for young women in our society. This is why we (Ellie and Katelynn) have joined the Young UN Women committee. As we both go to private girls’ schools in the western suburbs - Methodist Ladies College and Iona Presentation College - we have been promoted with the foundation of a women’s right and opportunities they face in society. By becoming involved with the Young UN Women we can really enhance these opportunities by promoting equality between not only men and women but between fellow women. Being part of the Young UN Women it has given us the opportunity to reflect on our lives as teenage women in our current society and look forward to many possibilities such as creating Young UN Women clubs at our schools and inviting men to come and speak to our year groups about a man’s positive perspective on gender equality. We are both so lucky and grateful to be part of such a challenging yet beneficial organization, which we can learn from and grow alongside. We shall continue to promote and strive to live by these incredible life goals from a true woman Audrey Hepburn.
Perhaps more disconcerting is the manner in which these young women are interacting with each other. Recent studies show that an estimated number of 1 in 6 children are bullied weekly in Australia. The effects of bullying have been proven to damage people for life, so how is it that we can treat one another 9
|by Tammi Ireland
Not long after those parades I moved to the administration side of the agency, coming off the books as a model. Girls over size 10 would come in and leave within months due to a lack of work. It wasn’t a fault on the agency’s part – the demand was not there. While women said they want to see ‘normal’ models of all sizes on the catwalk, the reality was clothes hung better on a slim frame and no designer wanted to make the change.
I was 14 years old when I first realised I was considered ‘plus sized’ by the modelling industry. Tall all my life, my mother had entered me into classes at a Perth agency four years earlier to ensure good posture. Within weeks, I was obsessed with the industry and had put pictures of Gemma Ward and Nicole Trunfio on my walls while other girls my age had Hanson and The Spice Girls on theirs. The beauty and creativity of the industry was alluring to my size 12-14 self, so I was just happy to be a part of it all when I started doing parades as the ‘plus sized’ model.
Times have thankfully changed recently, with larger Aussie models Robyn Lawley and Sophie Sheppard making waves on the international modelling scene, and fashion week organisers in many countries imposing bans on designers using girls with unhealthy BMIs. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, so many changes that need to be made. Banning the term ‘plus size’ and eliminating that stigma should be the next step.
My very first show was for a Newdegate Country Field Day. We left Perth at 5am and performed consecutive parades over two days before arriving back in the city the next evening. I would model perhaps three of the eight designer collections in each parade and watch from the side while the ‘normal’ models took to the runway. I’ll never forget that first woman yelling out to one of them, “give her a damn steak”. Naïve and glad to be a part of the industry I’d loved for years, I relished the applause – often a standing ovation – of the locals in those little country tents when I walked the catwalk. Their smiles were joyous – to them, I was the ‘normal’ model. The night in-between parades was like a beautiful sleepover where all the models – usually seven or eight – would bunk in a local’s living room after drinks at the local bar. I remember being surprised when the local women (and some men) came up to me, the biggest girl in the group, to tell me how beautiful I was in the show. Why were they commending the ‘token’ model and not the other beauties?
WOMEN IN DIPLOMACY A Young UN Women Australia Perth Informs Session Thursday, 2 February 2011 路 6 for 6.30pm start - 8.30pm Freehills, Level 36, QV1 Building, 250 St Georges Terrace Canapes & refreshments provided Ticket $20 for UN Women financial members , $25 for non-members Join the Young UN Women Australia Perth Committee for the first Informs session of 2012. If you have ever wanted to work overseas, at the UN, or in diplomacy and international affairs, this is the event for you! We will be joined by four extraordinary women who have spent their lives working in diplomacy and international affairs both in Australia and overseas. They will share their experiences and tips for those interested in pursuing a career in this field.
White Ribbon DAY:
Our nonparticipation is Cooperation
|by Will Veldman In 2008, when addressing the issue of violence against women, our then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd highlighted accurately that ‘It is my gender – it is our gender – that are responsible’ (National Council Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, 2009). This violence, for which we as males are unarguably predominantly responsible, is ultimately a violence smattered across every single country. The question, as Rudd usefully poses it, is: ‘What are we going to do about it?’ (NCPARVAWC, 2009). UN Statistics show that at the very least ‘one in every three women around the world have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her life time’ and that globally one in five women are raped or have been subjected to a rape attempt at some time in their life (Violence Against Women Factsheet, 2009). Shamefully still a universal phenomenon, violence against women occurs physically, sexually, psychologically and economically and in over 58% of cases, is perpetrated by an intimate or someone the woman knows (VAWF, 2009). Violence against women in our society is violence ‘directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects a woman disproportionately’ (Amnesty International, 2004). A ridiculously clear violation of human rights, violence against women is often perpetuated by ‘longstanding customs [which] put considerable pressure on women to accept abuse’ (The World’s Women 2010: Trends and Statistics). Speaking to a South African friend of mine, she spoke about the preponderance of women resigning themselves to the reality of rape in South Africa. ‘For them it’s a daily reality. Violence against women, rape, it happens so often you just have to get used to it. Make it part of your day-to-day.’ It might be a stretch to transpose this onto Australian culture, to say that all Australian women are in constant resignation to the expectant possibility of rape. But in an Australian society where just under 35% of women are sexually abused and where over 80% of women who were victims of violence in
the last twelve months refused to report the incident to police (VAWF, 2009), the question should probably be: What am I doing? What are we as a community of Australian men doing [or not doing] that has allowed not only this violence, but also this culture of fear, to exist? This is not to say that there hasn’t been some progress in the move to eradicate these forms of violence. First and probably the most notable is the establishment of UN Women, a subsidiary of the United Nations committed to the deconstruction of gendered inequality. Federally, the government has established the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, as well as partnered with the United States in an attempt to eradicate violence against women in the Pacific and in Australia. When telescoping this down to a personal level, White Ribbon Day offers a unique and unparalleled opportunity for individual men to get involved. In December, 1999 the UN General Assembly declared November 25th the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. As such, this day offers each man in Australia the opportunity to speak into the atrocity that resides within our culture. It allows men to stand against the situations that allow nearly 50% of all Australian women to experience physical abuse and 34% to be subjected to sexual violence (The World’s Women 2010: Trends and Statistics, 2010). Each year, the White Ribbon Day campaign asks us men to wear a white ribbon on November the 25th as a personal pledge to oppose and not excuse violence by men against women. In addition, it asks men to take an oath. Myoath.com. au is the website where men are invited to sign their name on a national petition and swear three things. It goes like this: ‘I swear: Never to commit violence against women, never to excuse violence against women, and never to remain silent about violence against women. This is my oath’.
Edmund Burke wrote that ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’. Putting this in terms of violence against women: all that is required for this violence to perpetuate is for us as men to pretend like we don’t see it. My problem is that if you are reading this, you probably already share [to some extent at least] my perspective. You’re probably ready to swear never to commit violence against women and you’re probably ready to never excuse violence against women. But what about pretending like we don’t see and remaining silent? What about our work mate, our brother, our colleague or our friend of a friend? What about that girl we known who covers up the smattering of bruises with make up. Or that conversation we have with another guy where we pretend like we don’t know he abuses his partner. The real issue is: ‘How can we affect change in the perspective of the guy out there who thinks that his violence against the women in his life is OK?’ I’m not going to pretend that I grew up in a home of extensive gendered violence. I didn’t. My dad treated my mum inspirationally. But that doesn’t mean I don’t now know angry men. That doesn’t mean I don’t now know scared and scarred women. Statistics reveal the transnational nature of violence against women and show that, even if you think you don’t, you do know a woman who is experiencing violence at the hands of a man. You do know a man who is committing a violation of human rights in his violence against a woman. Going out on a limb and expanding on Burke’s quote, I would say that nonparticipation is cooperation. Our nonparticipation in saying ‘No’ to violence against women is essentially cooperation with the ‘Yes’ that affirms this violence. When looking to answer the question of ‘How can we affect change in the perspective of our counterpart who perpetrates violence against
women’ UN Women and the White Ribbon Day campaign answer by encouraging men to take the opportunity and simply begin a conversation. In wearing a ribbon and signing the oath, they offer the opportunity to dialogue with family and friends about issues of violence against women. This campaign offers us as men the chance to affect change and ultimately, gives us the opportunity to participate and say ‘No’ to saying ‘Yes’.
For more information visit: UN Women: unwomen.org.au White Ribbon Day: whiteribbonday.org.au My Oath: myoath.com.au
And the Commonwealth
|by Jennifer Mitchell As world leaders descended on Perth in late October for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), for the first time in Commonwealth history 4 of the 54 participating nations were represented by female heads of state (Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, Malaysia and the United Kingdom). Of further significance, the Hon. Quentin Bryce noted that the first woman to hold the post of incumbent Chair of the Commonwealth (the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar) would pass the baton to another woman: Julia Gillard. As with so many ‘firsts’ in the women’s rights movement, these milestones illustrate both how much progress we have made toward achieving gender equality and how far we still have to go. The much discussed report by the Eminent Person’s Group (which was not released by Commonwealth leaders prior to CHOGM proceedings) stated that while the “picture of women in leadership roles is real, it is also misleading for, by and large, women are still discriminated against in many Commonwealth countries and remain a vulnerable segment of the population in all of them”1. In addition to the formal inter-government meetings, Perth also hosted a number of parallel events including the Commonwealth People’s Forum (CPF), Women Who Lead event, and the African Women’s Council of Australia’s Round-Table Forum. Given the sustained international push for ‘gender mainstreaming’ to ensure that all programs, policies and legislation consider the rights and needs of both women and men2, it was grat1 Commonwealth of the People: Time for Urgent Reform, Commonwealth Eminent Person’s Group, October 2011: http://www.thecommonwealth.org/document/241620/eminent_persons_group_report.htm
2 Gender Mainstreaming is defined in the UN ECOSOC
Agreed Conclusions 1997/2 as “… the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action,
ifying to see that one of the salient issues to emerge from all of these proceedings and parallel forums was the importance of women’s rights. In the commonwealth context this momentum built on initiatives such as the 2011 Commonwealth theme Women as Agents of Change and the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 2005-20153. It remains to be seen whether this spotlight on women’s rights during CHOGM will result in members of the Commonwealth taking concrete action to address impediments to gender equality such as violence against women, barriers to political and economic participation, and access to justice.
including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of polices and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.”
3 Further information on the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 2005-2015 can be found here: http://www.thecommonwealth.org/Templates/Internal. asp?NodeID=38116
To all our members The Young UN Women Australia Perth Committee would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you have a relaxing and happy festive season celebrating with your loved ones. In the last ten years, more than 7,500 people have died Vietnam due to natural disasters, with many of these deaths being preventable. If you are still trying to find the perfect present for someone special, please consider purchasing a Global Gift from the UN Women Australia website. All funds raised will be used to support the Vietnam Womenâ€™s Union to strengthen the role of women in decision-making processes on climate change and natural disaster reduction in Phu Yen Province. Thank you for all your support at our various events during 2011. We have had a fantastic time raising funds and awareness about important gender issues, and none of it would have been possible without your support and enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events in 2012!
Membership & Volunteers Coordinator & Treasurer
Photo by: Jessica Lockhart
Contributors Alice Farley Anna Johnson Anna larson Athanae Lucev Ellie Kotkis Emma Tormey Jennifer Mitchell Katelynn Thomas-Hall Sandra De Witt Hemala Tammi Ireland WillVeldman
Events Coordinator Chair
Membership & Volunteers Coordinator & Treasurer
Communications Director Guest Writer
Campus Ambassador Coordinator & UWA President
Secretary Guest Writer Marketing Director & Editor Guest Writer Guest Writer
Credit: Jessica Lockhart
Young UN Women PERTH