This 3 minutes of pure joy was filmed at our Embolden Festival in 2019. The film is a celebration of the diversity of older Australians. We are sharing it with you to mark Harmony Day, 21st March - a time of reflection on respect for cultural and religious diversity. This year so many people have also reflected on the history of harmony day, in short, an Australian rebadging of the United National International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We know that older people still experience racial discrimination and we love that more and more Australians are saying that's not okay. We join the chorus of people saying no to racial discrimination and in our work we are committed to ensuring that the wonderful diversity of older Australians shines.
I used to find it difficult to celebrate women’s achievements and contributions on IWD … because the gender inequalities are shocking. I listen to the news about women being sexually assaulted and murdered and expect to hear that people are rioting in the streets. But there are no riots, mostly there are breakfasts and workplace events. That’s a good start - but we need to do more.
I can’t sit still in a world where a women is murdered every week by her current or former partner (in Australia). In a world where 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence, 1 in 5 sexual violence and 1 in 2 sexual harassment; in a world where there is a 33% increase in older women’s homelessness and 34% of single older women live in poverty… and yet ... still we mock older women 😳 devalue and mimic their vulnerabilities. We have such a long way to go before we reach equality for older women.
This year our #OlderWomenCount campaign grew in strength. We made a beautiful film with Dr Deborah Wood and it resonated with people. The 4 min film has has 1.4k views in 6 days and Deborahs message of 'joyful rage' is so powerful. We also launched our #OlderWomenCount checklist, which includes reflections for older women, families, communities, groups, businesses and services (celebrateageing.com/olderwomencount). So grateful to Older Women's Network NSW and Suzanne Phoenix, Photos Punctuate My Life for the partnership - and also our 2023 partners Elder Rights Advocacy Victoria ... what you do matters.
Today I invite everyone to think about in inequities older women experience. And to think about how you let the older women in your family, community, work place know that they are valued. Please reach out to an older woman today and let her know you see her and you care.
Dr Catherine Barrett is the Director and Founder of Celebrate Ageing, a social enterprise challenging ageism and building respect for older people.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
(c) 2013 celebrateageing.com
(c) 2013 celebrateageing.com