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November 2022

On Thursday night we had over 80 people attend our annual Fanny Reading lecture. It was so wonderful to see women from across the community, from as young as 20, with our eldest attendee being 92! How incredible! 

Here are the words I shared with those who attended. 

We have come an incredibly long way over the last 100 years, since NCJWA was founded by Fanny Redding- we can now vote, we can work in any profession we want, we can own property, access contraception, initiate divorce, serve on juries and in the military and we can even stand for election. 

But around the world and locally there is still a lot of work to be done. There is still a gender pay gap of 17.5%, our reproductive rights are in hands of politicians, gender-based domestic violence affects 1 in 5 women compared to 1 in 21 men, women are overlooked for jobs and leadership positions, and an underrepresented on boards and still in 2022, when men look after their own kids, it’s still called babysitting!  

I later shared a story of a friend that had three daughters born between 2010 and 2018. She, like many others was concerned that her girls would be penalised or looked over when applying for jobs, so she chose to give them each gender-neutral names, Jamie, Ashleigh and Alex. So while it is important to celebrate how far we have come, we need to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done, both in the Jewish and wider community. I look forward to the day when we don’t need panels to unpack gender issues that we face, but until then, NCJWA Vic will continue to advocate for women and their rights. 


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