We will celebrate International Women’s Day later this week with that in mind we spoke to Councillor Rita O’Connor from Harden about what International Women’s Day means to her. Councillor O’Connor says “it gives us all a chance to recognise the achievements, aspirations and challenges faced by women. It’s also a day to join together to chat, be grateful for what we have and share stories. It is important to acknowledge this day as it’s an opportunity to show strength, understanding and solidarity and lets women know that there are support systems for everyone, irrespective of age or personal circumstances”.
In today’s world Councillor O’Connor says there are still many issues that women face, “Working women are discriminated against for leaving their children in care; those who stay home to look after children are discriminated for not pulling their financial weight. Women living in rural areas face the challenges of isolation and limited access to services. They don’t have ready access to the professional support networks that are available in the city, especially when it comes to children and health. However, I believe rural women form great support networks amongst themselves and they are very resilient”.
When asked who in our region inspires her she named Julia Atkin.
“She was originally my mentor and supervisor when I started teaching in Harden and she opened my eyes to a new way of teaching that ended up defining me as a teacher for the next 30 odd years. I’ve only just reconnected with her through her work on the library/education precinct at Hilltops Council. Her passion, energy and absolute dedication to the work she does is so inspiring”.
Councillor Rita O’Connor will host an International Women’s Day event in Harden on Friday 9th March at the Murrumburrah Court House 6.30 – 7.00pm and will cost $5. Email Rita – firstname.lastname@example.org or text on 0407227140 if you intend on attending the evening or would like to help out.