Sometimes we are so busy keeping it all together that we lose sight of the small stuff that makes life such a miracle.

Photo: D Castro

A bee gathering nectar to turn into honey

alchemy of any sort

unsung miracles.

International Women’s Day made me think about the miraculous achievements and changes that women have campaigned for over the years to make our lives better today.

I wonder where in the world you are celebrating?

In Bunbury, South Western Australia I pinned onto my blouse the lapel-flag shaped in the shape of a V; a green stripe for hope, blue for justice and white for purity – the international women’s movement colours – and joined a kaleidoscope of women in Bunbury to listen to speakers talk about their lives and achievements. The event was organised by the South West Women’s Health & Information Centre.

We were given a stirring Noongar welcome and then learnt that the first International Women’s Day in WA was in 1936, when women campaigned for peace and the abolition of violence.  It wasn’t until 1899 that WA women were given the right to vote, and local heroine, Edith Cowan, was the first woman elected to Australian Parliament.

Today the women’s movement is linked to campaigning for women’s rights all over the world, and those of us gathered in SWA yesterday were encouraged  to think about the bigger issues and global challenges facing women, such as, inadequate access to water and sanitation that affects almost half of humanity, transport, safety and security (domestic violence and sexual assault), housing, and the unequal representation of women in decision-making. On a  local scale, fostering belonging in the community and committing to positive change for ourselves was touted as important. Viti Simmons (www.bearfruit.com.au) said that although so much in life is about the right timing, women needed to take stock, understand their needs and give themselves permission to do what it is they want to do.

A spokesperson from the South West Development Commission asked us to consider what we can do for our communities and the world. Do we feel too small to make a difference?  One of her slides stated: If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in the room with a mosquito.

I’d say a mosquito can perform its own sort of alchemy, rather too easily, wouldn’t you?

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