International Women’s Day

The Project

Equality Rights Alliance is celebrating 100 years of International Women’s Day with Sharing Young Women’s Stories, a campaign to fight negative Body Image.

About Sharing Young Women’s Stories

To celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day, Equality Rights Alliance has launched an online and postcard campaign to fight negative Body Image. The campaign empowers young women to share their stories and reflections on Body Image and the representation of women. Equality Rights Alliance want to inspire International Women’s Day 2011 to become a wonderful occasion to listen the voices of young women.

Sharing Young Women’s Stories is made up of three parts: inspire, action, vision:

Inspire: Sharing Young Women’s Stories inspires today’s young women, encouraging them to learn more about the stories and actions of everyday women doing extraordinary things. We share with you the stories of a range of inspirational women from Marie Louise who was born in 1870 to Alice, a 13 year old girl from Vanuatu. Find out how these women made such an impact on those around them. You also have the opportunity to share your own story about who inspires you.

Action: We have invited four guest bloggers to share stories and discuss issues surrounding Body Image. For four weeks, Cakie, Dannielle Miller, Lady Smaggle and Natalie will share with you their thoughts on Body Image. We encourage you to take action and join in the conversation! What do you think about Body Image?

Vision: There is still no national system of enforced regulation relating to the portrayal of Body Image in print and electronic media, despite growing community concern around issues such the presentation of extremely underweight fashion models. We want Peter Garrett, Minister for all things Youth to do more and ensure media, fashion and advertising agencies comply with the code of conduct for positive Body Image! Send Minister Garrett a postcard today!

About International Women’s Day 2011

Tuesday 8th March 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future. It is a day when women are recognised for their achievements, regardless of divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day is also a day to acknowledge that many women face discrimination, harassment and suppression simply because of their gender.

Learn more about the history of International Women’s Day.

Why Body Image and Representation of Women?

Representation of women has changed over time, with many pioneering and activist women challenging conventional notions of femininity, motherhood, and the role of women. Women today continue to debate and challenge how they are portrayed in media, advertising, and fashion.

How women are represented in media, popular fashion, and the public domain has an impact on how women, especially young women, perceive their own bodies and their image. According to Mission Australia’s National Survey of Young Australians 2010, Body Image is the top personal concern among 11-24 year old young Australians. This highly regarded survey had 50,240 participants, with 53.9% of the respondents being female.

The survey states that that in regards to the issue of Body Image:
Young people’s level of concern about this issue remains quite high, particularly among the young adult group who may have missed out on strategies more recently developed and implemented in schools to help young people develop a healthy body image. Initiatives such as those that promote young people’s media literacy and self esteem were identified by young people as being important, with a stronger focus on young adults appearing warranted. Continued efforts to urge the media, fashion and advertising industries to help promote positive body messages are also recommended.
- National Survey of Young Australians 2010 – Part 1

Health Impacts of Body Image dissatisfaction

Images of attractive and thin women prevail in popular print and electronic media and advertising. These idealised images do not truly reflect the bodies of most people in our society. These images contribute to unrealistic perceptions which may lead to body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.

Dissatisfaction with their bodies causes many young women to strive for the promoted thin ideal, often through unsuccessful or even harmful dieting. Serious eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa can result, and their prevalence among children and adolescents is rising: Approximately one in 100 adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa, making it the third most common chronic illness in girls, after obesity and asthma. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, with a death rate higher than that of major depression.

Australian Government Action on Body Image

In June 2010, the Australian Government announced Body Image initiatives to promote positive body image among young people. These initiatives focus on building young people’s resilience to negative body image pressures and promoting leadership and positive cultural change in the fashion, media and advertising industries. To promote cultural change in the fashion, media and advertising industries, the Government has endorsed and released the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image"
- Australian Government Action on Body Image

We have a vision for better promotion of positive Body Image we can do more!

National Women’s Alliance

Equality Rights Alliance is one six National Women’s Alliance. The alliances are:

Each alliance is celebrating 100 years of International Women’s Day in their own unique way.

Thank You!

Sharing Young Women’s Stories and our campaign to promote positive Body Image would not be made possible without the support of some wonderful people, from all of us at the Equality Rights Alliance we thank you.