The celebration of International Women's Day around the world is varied and motivated by different causes and movements.
Celebrated each year on 8 March, the worldwide theme this year is 'Press for Progress'. This is a theme that for many organisations around the world means press for parity of income, press for removal of discrimination, and removal of oppression. When I read the stories about these situations I always come back to my role as a chiropractor and as a Woman in Chiropractic (WIC) and feel overwhelmingly blessed and filled with gratitude. So what does this day mean for women in chiropractic?
We as a profession are not immune to gender biases. As much as we don’t want to believe it of our profession, discriminations, harassment and threats to a sense of physical and emotional safety for the women in our profession are real and exist. The experience of some of the conversations held on the Victorian WIC phone line are testament to this. The recent article in the January report of the World Federation Chiropractic (available at www.wfc.org) called #Drmetoo, is opening conversations that have largely been avoided. It is time for us to understand that while we are very blessed we are not immune to these issues.
The national WIC Committee is committed to supporting the women in our profession. One way this is achieved is through the events held all over the country, creating a supportive and empowering network for all those who connect.
Related to this empowerment is the issue of leadership, I am often asked how we support more women to take up and pursue leadership roles, both in our profession and in other areas I work. I know this issue has many elements to it and one of these is empowering women to know that they have leadership within them. That we have role models they can use for support. That they do have attributes and talents to contribute. I really feel that WIC groups and their support will facilitate this leadership process to grow.
International Women's Day is a whole profession issue. Over half of the graduates from chiropractic colleges around the world are women and it is time to empower and support them.
Visit the WIC website to find your local WIC representative and local events, including International Women's Day events. Also, you can join the Facebook group to keep up-to-date with the conversation.
Happy International Women’s Day. Celebrate the amazing blessings we have in our profession from men and women, and look to an even greater future.
By Bettina Tornatora
Chair Women in Chiropractic Committee