Women's rights everyone's job
IT'S amazing what a few women with a vision can achieve. And this weekend, at celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Zonta Club of Gladstone, that spirit that anything is possible will be a fitting centrepiece marking many a fine accomplishment.
Zonta is an organisation with a clear and unwavering focus on the advocacy and betterment of women in our community - our local community and our world community.
It is about choice. It is about empowerment.
Looking back through our own community's history, our story is punctuated by moments where women have had to fight for equality, for the right to free choice and even independent thought and action.
Bras have been burned. Books written and read. Arguments have been had - won and lost - and etchings of progress have been carved into our psyche and our system of values.
No more prolific is the role of the woman than in regional areas.
We are driven to test our mettle, to better our own best and it's in the regions that you will find the greatest depth of enterprise, strength and plain drive and intelligence.
In our own neck of the woods, while we might need to suffer the archaic views of the odd misogynistic or sexist dinosaur, we are largely blessed with the opportunity to break through glass ceilings, earn equal pay and make our own way - with little regard for the boys' clubs or traditional male-female divide.
But there are still struggles to be had the world over. As empowered women it is our responsibility to advocate for those who are without the means to free and empower themselves. In fact it's everyone's responsibility. That's Zonta's core philosophy. Because every woman has the right to enjoy what we have come to take for granted.
Happy birthday, Zonta.
Here's to 20 years more.