The #BreakTheBias message and the #IWD2022 theme calling for ‘gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’, makes perfect sense. In the Women’s Agenda article, Stop ignoring climate change on International Women’s Day, it is disturbing to read the impact that, according to the IPCC, every 0.1 degree of warming makes to the lives of women globally. The UNs announcement, by outlining that gender equality and sustainability must go hand in hand, reminds us that it is only in a world without discrimination, bias or stereotypes can we create an equitable world in which inclusion and diversity can be build a sustainable future.
A quick search across Australian Libraries shows that across all sectors, libraries are celebrating and acknowledging #IWD in many innovative ways. From book readings and author talks, through trivia nights, exhibitions, festivals, fun runs, corporate events, concert performances, online digital gatherings and more. If you were looking for ideas for ongoing events and programming there are an impressive number of in-person and virtual events listed on the #IWD events website with events organised by libraries and community groups, women’s networks, companies, charities, educational institutions and even government bodies.
So how can we work towards environmental sustainability and gender equality? How do we make it work?
A recent study at UniSA, Environmental Sustainability and Gender Equality: Does One Good Thing Lead to Another? (co-authored by Associate Professor Sukhbir Sandhu with Professor Carol T Kulik, Dr Sanjeewa Perera, and Ms Sarah A Jarvis ) shows how organisations can use the Three Spaces Framework (physical, mental, social) to leverage commitment to these two issues. It demonstrates that accelerated action can be achieved when responsibility for the two areas is combined rather than being given to different people and considered separately. It takes time for synergy to develop, but it will happen organically until environmental sustainability and gender equality become a unified concept.
On a more immediate level we need to actively seek out and advocate for women-owned and operated businesses when we look for venues, caterers, performers and speakers, not to mention other professionals, as well as trades people for repair, maintenance and refurbishments of our libraries . Lady Tradies Australia is just one of many sites listing women across a wide range of trades. There are many available, we just need to remember to look for them.
Grist climate fiction competition 2022- short story writing for a green and equal future.
This is an invitation to share your vision for the next 180 years (approx. 7 generations). The Grist 2nd annual international cli-fi short-story contest, Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors, is now calling for entries and the winners will be announced in late 2022. This is an opportunity to imagine a future where there is no more need to #BreakTheBias, and a green and clean future in which there is no bias, inequality, colonialism and oppression. Winning stories from the 2021 collection
A message to our colleagues in NSW and QLD
In the past few weeks we have watched the extreme wet in NSW and QLD impact the lives and the libraries of our friends and colleagues in those areas. Know that our thoughts and hearts go out to you.
By Katalin Mindum, ALIA Sustainable Libraries committee member.