A Mothers Day Tribute

“they say women hold up half the world
but they don’t say the half they hold up’s heavier” - Maxine Beneba Clarke

Mother’s Day gives us all a reason to celebrate women and perhaps to consider more deeply their role in our own lives as well as beyond, in the workplace, in society, in the world.
Women’s Work is underpinned by our desire to see women’s work not just noticed, but truly seen and rightfully valued. Often we look to the past to demonstrate our reasons why, but it’s the past-attitudes of denial and often ignorance that are prevalent today that truly fuel our motivation for change.

As we move forward and (hopefully) further away from the unprecedented times of the pandemic we recognise that the hundreds of days gone before us are still lingering. They resist our want to suppress them, holding their own weight and listing their own demands. They want reflection. Those ‘peak pandemic days’ that moved so slow and yet so fast, it’s only now with distance that we have space to review them. What just happened? And what do we need to learn from what just happened? Because no matter where we stood, our recent history has shone a light on women’s work, indeed it’s been shaped by it.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to form this reflection. Sometimes others do it better. This is the case now, and we pass the mic to the much more eloquent Maxine Beneba Clark whose poem “Women’s Work” had us in our feels and said all that we wished we could say.
Read the full version here. https://www.vwt.org.au/womens-work/

“cause women’s work
was standing in between
the virus and the children
in between the virus and our charges
in between the virus and our students
in between the virus and our partners
in between the virus and our elders
in between the virus and our patients
in between the virus and our hearts…
some women always knew,
but for others
the pandemic showed us how,
even as women saved the world,

saving the world
was women’s work”
- An excerpt from Maxine Beneba Clarke’s poem titled “Women’s Work”