Democracy is in some sort of crisis world-wide. It is defined as the noblest form of rule - government of the people, by the people, for the people. But look at any democratically elected parliament, and what you see is “government of the people by a narrow sample of the dominant population” – universally middle aged, middle class (white) men. What can we do to make our system of government both more representative of, and more accountable to, the 52% majority. WOW Founder Jude Kelly will lead an international panel of those elected to represent us to discuss.
Throughout WOW at Festival 2018 and across the arts and cultural program for the 2018 GC Commonwealth Games, women performers, creators and collaborators from many Nations will tell the stories from their tribes. But where does control of the ‘narrative’ really lie in contemporary story telling? And in the fallout of the 2017 international outcry about the behaviour of male leaders in the screen industry, how does the cultural economy of the 21st Century need to change? Hear the views of leading creators, including those involved in producing work for the 2018 celebrations Busty Beats (Hot Brown Honey’s), Ruth/Sishona Kish (Digging Roots), Lou Bezzina (Bleach Festival) chaired by Director of Screen Queensland Tracey Viera
Across the Commonwealth, colonial governments drew on British law to create founding documents as the basis of government and British cultural dominance to create the foundational narratives as the basis of society. Colonisation sought to usurp customary laws and traditions and systems of governance that had been fine-tuned on Country and in Community through centuries. How are women of the First Nations throughout the Commonwealth working for their communities and families in the face of this colonial power and its ongoing legacies? And what are their on-going hopes and challenges? Facilitated by Dr Sandra Phillips, leading First Nation women from Australia, Canada and New Zealand tell it like it is.
Who is Minister for Emotional Affairs at your place? And what remuneration does that attract? How does your salary and superannuation compare to that of your male colleague? In the family, in the workplace, and in the broader economy, emotional labour (aka women’s work) frees men up to make money, oils the wheels of transactions and relationships, and delivers a fortune in unremunerated work into the world we live. This session is about how we value of women’s work.
Join Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and leading experts xxx to discuss the changes we need today
Overwhelmingly, it is women who carry the responsibility for caring for the young, sick, injured, frail elderly, and for country. There are health, economic and social consequences which reach deep into the lives of the carer. Across the cultures and traditions of the Commonwealth, are there better ways to support carers, and to share responsibility for these roles?
First Nation land manager
Madeline Buchner – Little Dreamers Australia
With more of our lives exposed every day to the mystery and magic of new technologies and the internet, what are the steps we can take to be safe and savvy users, and not hapless victims? Who are the women working in cyber security and the technologies of the future looking to make our world a safer place. And how have those that have had to deal with the derogatory and threatening abuse spread on-line dealt with the issue? Australian ESafety Commissioner Julie Inham Grant will lead a conversation with international guests on how we make our brave new world a safer place for all.
Across the Commonwealth, women are using their creativity and business skills to build cultural and social enterprises that deliver more than a financial return. Others are investing their own dollars in that change. Be inspired by the stories and projects from across the Commonwealth including Alana and Jade (Femeconomy Australia) and Winnifred Selby (Bamboo Bike Company Ghana)
Some of our most extraordinary and influential activists are people who did not set out to gain the public eye, but who were driven by a personal encounter or experience, an injustice, or the plight of a loved one, to speak out, and build a campaign to change things. Meet some of the Commonwealth’s surprising “accidental activists” including Mary-Ann TP (Million Stars Australia) Zillah Douglas and xxx (Solomon Islands)
Sometimes it feels like report after report and still the count goes on. What is the true picture of gender based violence across the Commonwealth? Where can we gain the most momentum for change and where are the legal and cultural solutions to the issue of gender based violence. Chair of Our Watch Australia, former politician and Australian UN Ambassador for women and girls Natasha Stott Despoyja will lead this conversation around government and community led approaches to changing the story for our daughters and sons.
There are women who hold and exercise power in pretty much every field - in science, sports, arts, politics, business, the community. Some – but not all of them - also seek to use their power and influence to make change on behalf of women and girls. In this session, outstanding women leaders account for how they are using their power to create a more equal world, and help us work out what we need from our women leaders today.
Leading politician from Commonwealth
Mona Shindy – Muslim Navy Captain
Jackie Huggins – Congress or June
Malala/Young leader – Guilma Pakistan
Louise Martin CGF
South African SBS woman ???? Leigh Sales
Outstanding writers from around the Commonwealth will be featured in a special edition of Australia’s leading literary journal Griffith Review published to co-incide with the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Join some of the women contributors from across the globe, who will reflect on their work and on the future of the Commonwealth and its enduring legacy. What might the Commonwealth of Nations become in a post- Brexit world? And what voice could this global association of 52 Nations have in the future?
Join Griffith Review Editor Julianne Schultz and contributors including Melissa Lukaschenko, Margaret Busby (UK) Kateri Akiwenzie Damm (Canada), Anna Zaidi from (India) and Urvarshi Butalia (India)
So much time and attention is spent photographing, televising, glorifying, writing and talking about extravagant, glamorous housing design for the ultra-privileged few – when so many basic needs are crying out for design solutions – like universal sanitation, homelessness, housing for crisis situations, an umbrella that won’t turn inside out…
What would make your life better/safer/simpler? Hear about some of the real design solutions for women and girls across the Commonwealth, and challenge our design-savvy panel to find a solution to your design challenge.
Millicent Barty – Graphic Designer Solomons
Winnifred Selby – Bamboo Bikes
2 Australian architect/designers/planners
According to psychologists, shame is the most destructive emotion in the human kitbag. It has been used for centuries to control the behaviour of women and girls, and people who do not conform to society’s gender assumptions. How not to own it personally…
The worlds of commerce and work are being transformed by new technology, organisational structures, instantaneous global communications and artificial intelligence, in a series of changes to rival the industrial revolution. What does this mean for women’s participation in work and the economy? What are we getting ready for and where will it take us?
Leanne Kemp – Everledger blockchain expert
Talk to anyone who deals with young people, and they will tell you that mental illness is no longer something suffered by other people – it is something they deal with every day – from out of control anxiety disorders, depression, and suicide. At a time of great social change and economic upheaval, how can we understand the challenges of mental illness for the sufferer and their families, and how can we be a source of support to the people in our own circle?
A discussion about gender stereotypes and gender diversity – being planned – looking at different approaches with the Community in relation to the way in which gender diversity/fluidity is considered across cultures and the key issues facing the community today
Women take an active part in conflict everywhere – in combat roles, providing medical support reporting on conflict as journalists and photographers, and in a thousand other ways. But they experience the consequences of war very differently from men. With their children, they are the most vulnerable refugees. And while more men than women die as a consequence of conflict-related violence, according to UN Women, rape is often used as a weapon of war and violence perpetrated by intimate partner usually increases in post-conflict situations. This session will include one of the winners of this years Anna Politskovskaya award (founded to recognise the lives and achievements of women journalists who, like Anna, risk their lives to report on conflict) activist Gulalai Ismail (Pakistan) and will also acknowledge the work of Jamalida Begum a young Rohingya woman survivor of rape by the military, who is currently a refugee in Bangladesh, who bravely spoke out about her and other women's rape and torture.
Climate change has different consequences – drought in sub-Saharan Africa; disastrous flooding in the delta in Bangladesh; rising sea levels threatening whole communities in the coral atolls of the Pacific; environmental poisoning from mining in Canada and industrial processes in India; loss of farm lands from drought in Australia… In spite of their different origins, the impacts are felt most by women and children, who are two thirds of the world’s poor, most dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and often with limited mobility, access to decision-making, and alternative possibilities.
Our speakers including xxx Griffith Uni or Sharon bring a gender lens to climate change and its impacts, to suggest how we can change this…
For centuries, faith based institutions, have reflected dominant social patterns and structures, including male authority and privilege. Yet the faith and courage of women keep these institutions alive for example behind the iron curtain; mothering reached across centuries of sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland to build a new era of peace. (need more appropriate examples from our region)
Women from all faiths contribute to a session that looks at the place of faith in their lives, the strength they draw from it, and what they share across different traditions.
Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau has set a remarkable example of leadership in promoting diversity and gender equality, and has become a role model for contemporary political leadership in inclusive societies. So where else can we look for men who are active champions of women’s and girls’ equality and what will it really take from the 49% to get us there?
Dominic McGann – local Chair Champions of Change
Mitchell Stark or another male cricketer on standing up
Jope Tarai – Fiji
It’s a long time since Billy Jean King beat Bobby Riggs, and proved that a woman could beat a man at tennis. This is the first Commonwealth Games in which the same number of gold medals are on offer for women and men. New professional women’s competitions – Rugby Union Sevens, Australian Rules Football, Twenty-Twenty Cricket – have been established and are thriving.
So what’s next on the sports agenda for women? Facilitated by Cricket Commentator Mel Jones come and hear from some of our leading sportswomen and men
The numbers of women criminalised and imprisoned in the world’s prisons continues to rise at a time when male rates of imprisonment are relatively stable. Why are the number of women criminalised and imprisoned increasing? What does the community gain by locking women up? And what would the consequences of abolishing prison for women be? Will we allow ourselves to imagine a world without prisons? The leading women campaigners from Canada Senator Kim Pate, New Zealand, Professor Tracey McIntosh, and Australia lawyer and founder of Sisters Inside Deb Kilroy
One culture’s elder – wise, respected, treasured, is another’s “oldie” – cranky, out of date, a drain on resources… Is it all in the language, or are there real differences? And how can we defy cultural expectations about ageing and make the most of our “wild fantastic life?” Following on from their success at WOW in 2015 this session will include two of Australia’s leading Grandmother’s WOW Patron Quentin Bryce and her good friend business woman Wendy McCarthy in conversation with Oldies and Elders.
In planning WOW at Festival 2018 women in five regional and remote Australian communities (Torres Strait, Lockhart River, Bundaberg, Katherine and the Channel Country) have contributed. Come and hear their stories and perspectives on many of the issues discussed at WOW and the lives of women from the Australia many never experience at all.
American women wear their hair long. African American women spend a fortune straightening or “relaxing” theirs. Some women will do anything to avoid going grey. And some don’t have any at all. What’s the thing with hair? Where do these expectations come from, and how do we beat then…
In one of the final sessions of WOW at Festival 2018, young women from around the Commonwealth will lead a conversation on what has to happen for their futures and for all our futures to build a world in which gender equality is truly recognised as a basic human right, in the home, in the community and in society as a whole. Young women and girls from WOW 2018 present their Elders with some solutions.