International Women's Day with editor Jemillah Dawson

International Women's Day: Beth Ferguson, Nola Marino and Jemillah Dawson.

International Women's Day: Beth Ferguson, Nola Marino and Jemillah Dawson.

What does International Women’s Day mean?

For me it is a day to show off how proud I am to be a woman.

But it also highlights how lucky I am to be a woman in the 21st century and in Australia.

It was only around six years ago that women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to vote.

While this was a huge milestone in the progression of equality, Saudi Arabian women were only given the privilege to drive in 2017.

This to me is appalling and has made me realise how much I take for granted. 

When I was able to get my learners permit to drive, gender never entered the equation.

When I went to vote for the first time in 2007, gender was certainly not questioned.

And that is how it should be, a world where gender is not given a thought on whether you can or can’t do something.

This may seem superficial but the first time I encountered the feeling like I couldn’t do something because I was female was when I started university.

For years my dream job was to be a sports journalist. 

All that time I did not think about how hard it would be to be a female sports journalist, particularly reporting on my favourite sport – AFL.

That was until I had one of my first journalism classes at uni where we had to introduce ourselves and say what sort of journalist we wanted to be.

Every male in the room said they wanted to be a sports reporter, and it was that moment that I realised how competitive the industry was but also what an uphill battle it would be for me to be that sports reporter.

So I backed right off from the round at uni and lowered my expectations of myself.

While there is a sense of envy, I admire all the women sports reporters who have pushed that barrier to become successful, that includes Caroline Wilson.

I hear so often “you wouldn’t know because you haven’t played the game”.

But what a contradiction that is when you look at nationally renowned footy reporters such as Gerard Whateley and Craig Hutchison.

One day, when I walk onto a field to report a footy match I don’t want to be looked at like I don’t understand the game or that I don’t belong there.

It is a small change but still a positive one which continues our progression for equality.

Pictured is myself with two powerful South West women, Beth Ferguson and Nola Marino.