Happy International Women’s Day.

Unlike March 6th’s World Oreo Day, February’s Ice Cream For Breakfast Day and October 22nd’s WORLD CAPS LOCK DAY, IWD actually means something. It’s the one day a year we pause to take stock, and celebrate, all of the incredible achievements of women around the world.

It’s also a day to acknowledge the inequities women face at home, at work and in public.

On average, Australian women have to work an extra 56 days a year to earn the same pay as men… for doing the same work. That’s 56 whole days we could devote to watching Nigella reruns, for God’s sake.

More than half of women aged 18 or older have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime.

We live in a world where the President of the United States suggests grabbing women by the pussy. And all of that is just in the western world; our contemporaries in other parts face a litany of injustices we can’t even imagine.

In good news, one of the first ‘Women’s Sheds’, a place where women affected by domestic violence can come and learn vital DIY skills, is opening in Australia.

A partnership between Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) and The Bower is bringing this groundbreaking concept to Parramatta, supported by the City of Parramatta Council.

Parramatta Women’s Shed will provide low-cost workshops on using power tools, woodwork, car maintenance and house painting – essentially, a range of DIY skills that many women have not been encouraged to learn growing up.

They’ll also promote reuse and repair, advocating second hand goods as a sustainable option, an objective of The Bower (an environmental charity which diverts reusable goods away from landfill, providing homewares to the community at low cost).

sorry for this but i had to

While Men’s Sheds have become common in Australia, providing men a space to tinker with projects and bond with other men, Women’s Sheds remain relatively obscure by comparison, with only a handful in existence across the country.

SALT, an organisation of female carpenters, painters, electricians and other tradeswomen, made headlines in late 2017 when they launched the Skill Women’s Shed in Quakers Hill. This second space at the Bower Parramatta will extend their reach further and is differentiated by using only recycled building materials. Good for the community, and even better for the environment.

“Women’s Sheds serve a different purpose to the Men’s Sheds, in that they provide skills which make women more confident and independent. We are totally committed to changing what women think they can do and what society thinks women can do,” SALT’s President Fi Shewring said in a statement.

Too bloody right. It’s an incredible initiative – and one deserving of praise not only today, but every day.

More deets:

The Bower Reuse & Repair Centre
1/10 Hunter Street, Parramatta
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 4pm

Sunday: closed

Image: Supplied