Women’s Rights Activism in 2018

As a volunteer and activist for Amnesty International, my view of women’s rights is largely influenced by the fact that women’s rights are human rights.

I think that is something that people forget in contemporary western societies. There is a lot of negative stigma behind the women’s rights movement, and identifying yourself as a “feminist” is often followed by (almost-always unjustified) criticism. As Amnesty International states; despite improvements in the lives of women and girls as a result of the international women’s rights movement, many continue to experience violence, sexism, misogyny and online abuse. Over one weekend, I organised two actions with Amnesty QLD/NNSW for women’s rights activism (and of course I vlogged my entire weekend to share with people.)

The first of these was at Our Walk For Change, a march that was organised by a group of high school students in Brisbane in response to the rape and murder of a 22 year old Melbourne comedian, Eurydice Dixon. I came up with the idea to let people know about Amnesty, and that they advocate for the rights of women and girls around the world. My idea was to take little cutout polaroid-looking photo frames, for people to take selfies with, and share on their Instagram stories with the hashtag, #solidarityselfie.

The other action I organised was an interview at a Women’s Abortion Rights Campaign (WARC) Brisbane picket, to decriminalise abortion in QLD. International human rights law clearly spells out that decisions about your body are yours alone – bodily autonomy is a human right. As women, decisions that are our right, like whether or when to have children have become a matter for the government to control. It’s my body, and therefore my right to decide. With the help of one of my media/communications volunteers, I interviewed Hope from the Women’s Abortion Rights Campaign, who discussed the need for abortion to be free, safe, and on demand: “what we need in future is for abortion to be covered by public health… so that women of all backgrounds have access to that right.”

You can watch the interview in my vlog:

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