By Jennifer Long
SYDNEY — Thousands of women are expected at the International Women's Day march and rally here on March 6 to demand abortion rights, funding for women's services, free child-care and equal pay.
"Everyone should turn up to the IWD march, but we also need ongoing campaigning to win these demands", said Tuni Bhattacharyya, who will speak for the Democratic Socialists at the march.
Bhattacharyya is running against Labor's health minister in the seat of Marrickville in the March 27 NSW election. She will also speak at a March 13 rally calling for the abolition of all anti-abortion laws, organised by Resistance and the Democratic Socialists. Abortion is still a criminal offense in NSW.
The abortion rights rally, to be held at 10.30am in Newtown Square on King Street, Newtown, is a response to anti-choice protesters who harass women almost every weekend outside a local abortion clinic. At 2pm on the same day, a public meeting titled "Questions for Feminism" will be held in the Resistance Centre. The meeting will address questions such as: Is sexism inevitable? Can we really change society? What role can men play in feminism?
The meeting has been prompted by the decision of the IWD organising collective to exclude men from this year's march (men can attend the rally and festival). It is also a response to the "feminism" to be promoted by the "go girl!" Sydney Women's Festival on March 7, which will feature business and lifestyle seminars, and facials and nutritionists to "reinforce the achievements of women in a positive style".
See the listing on page 27 for details of the public meeting. All are welcome.