Geelong Women Unionists Network (GWUN) partnered with Geelong Regional Libraries to host a forum titled “Patriarchy, Privilege and Power” on August 3.
After the successful March for Justice protests over the past two years, which drew large numbers of women, men and children to demand justice and safety for women, GWUN is continuing to look for ways to raise awareness around sexual assault.
Guest speakers were Central Aranda woman Belinda Foley, Social and Community Services worker and member of the Socialist Alliance Angela Carr and writer researcher, creator and feminist Glenda MacNaughton.
The panel explored the structures and knowledge processes that patriarchy invites, including how it creates power and privilege. It also looked at the consequences and what we need to do to change it.
Foley acknowledged country and spoke about colonisation in the context of patriarchy, privilege and power. Carr spoke about structural and workplace issues and McNaughton addressed gender and socialisation.
A lively question-and-answer session followed, including addressing the strength and resilience of First Nations women, the insidious nature of patriarchy and capitalism and how socialisation helps to push gender stereotypes in children from a very early age.
As the facilitator, I concluded the event by outlining the many ways in which women and communities can become involved in the struggle for justice and equality. They include: joining a union or women’s group; talking to family; helping friends and colleagues understand the need for change; attending a rally; starting your own women’s group in your sporting club, political party or workplace; and writing letters to the editor.
[You can view the Geelong Women Unionists Network forum here.]