AWiA gathers in Toowoomba

Empowering message delivered at Australian Women in Agriculture brunch


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Photos from the Australian Women in Agriculture brunch.

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Empowering rural women was the strong message that came across during the Australian Women in Agriculture networking brunch at the Toowoomba Royal Show.

AWiA president Sarah Parker spoke about her trip to New York to attend the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women.

The United Nations event brings together women from across the globe and in 2017 it looked further into the challenges of achieving gender equality for rural women.

Ms Parker spoke of the similarities agricultural communities in other nations are facing, including the increase in animal activism and veganism.

She also shared about how the United Nations is working to raise the legal age for marriage to eliminate child marriage in third world countries. 

“It’s about using language to make a point and using language to create change,” she said.

“Sometimes you have to accept the language may not be what you believe or what you think the focus should be but it actually creates major change.”

The lessons learnt about language still apply in Australia, where language can help to get legislation across the line for primary producers. 

Vice-president Charlotte Aves discussed the research being done by Dr Skye Saunders to raise awareness about the high rates of sexual harassment in rural communities. 

“The statistics raised by Skye were disturbing; 70 per cent of women working in rural workplaces experienced sexual harassment at some point in their careers,” she said.

“This grows to 93 per cent when you look at mining and agricultural industries.”

Ms Aves said there is no national helpline to report sexual harassment. Instead, the best course of action is to report incidents to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Also speaking at the event was Dalby State High School teacher Janine Milne, who shared about the agriculture and technology projects the school is involved with. 

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