East Fremantle duo reflect on International Women’s Day

Tjala Leysley (Secretary) and Marion Hood (President) Country Womens Association Melville/Fremantle for International Womens Day. Photo: Andrew Ritchie. d491238 communitypix.com.au.
Tjala Leysley (Secretary) and Marion Hood (President) Country Womens Association Melville/Fremantle for International Womens Day. Photo: Andrew Ritchie. d491238 communitypix.com.au.

TWO East Fremantle residents will be reflecting on what women have achieved and what work still needs to be done during International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8.

Tjala Leysley and Antonia Farrington are members of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) Melville/Fremantle branch and for Ms Leysley, International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the part women play in Australia.

“When I first started work, they were only just starting to allow women to stay at work after they got married,” she said.

“There was no concept of equal pay, there was a law after in the 1950s that women had to make 54 per cent of what a man earns in the same job.

“If a woman took a job that a man could do she got hassled for it because she was taking away the job of the breadwinner, doesn’t matter she wasn’t married .

“That was the reality, women had to fight for all those things and women still don’t have equal pay.”

Mrs Farrington shared similar sentiments and said women in the early days sacrificed a lot.

“Suffragettes gave up a lot, some of them lost their lives for the right to vote,” she said.

“We take it for granted, women fought so hard to get the vote, women didn’t have control of there own money, they had to fight to change all of that.”

Ms Leysley said the CWA meeting closest to IWD would be spent making fiddle rugs for people with dementia, children and those who go into emergency.

“The aim of the CWA is to do things to improve the situation for women and children, we include all women in Australia,” she said.

“Two common misconceptions is you must be a countrywoman to join and that we are always making tea and scones.”

The CWA Melville/Fremantle branch are hoping to start an evening branch to allow working women to join.