WATCHING The Divine Order under the stars at Joondalup Pines is a reminder of how lucky I am to be a woman living in this era in this country.
The film, which screens at the ECU venue as part of the Lotterywest Festival Films until Sunday, recounts the campaign for women to have the right to vote in Switzerland in 1971.
It highlights the absurdity of a time when that right wasn’t recognised, despite women making up more than half the population.
Sometimes we take for granted the freedom we have today, where women can choose to vote, to work and to live as we please.
Those are rights our predecessors had to fight for, to speak out for, to stand up against the status quo for.
These days, a woman doesn’t need her father’s or her husband’s approval to get a job, to study, to have a bank account, to own property or to travel.
These days, she doesn’t need a father or a husband to support her – women can earn a living, support themselves and often others too.
We’ve come a long way in a few decades, though the world is far from perfect and gender inequality is still evident.
Even here, in modern Australian society, there are still women in relationships where the man makes all the financial decisions and expects his wife to stay home and handle the domestic chores.
It’s sad to hear the stories of women who feel trapped, financially unable to stand on their own feet.
These are remarkable women, equipped with an array of skills, hard-working attitudes and incredible inner strength.
They ought to be brimming with confidence, free to choose whether they work at home or in any other field.
Perhaps it’s a remnant of a previous era, when children were brought up believing the man was the boss of the family.
It can be hard to change those attitudes and could take a couple of generations, so it is wonderful to see among our peers that women are respected as equal players, both those in relationships and those living independently.
It’s great to see women ‘making it’ across all industries, and thriving in politics where not so long ago women did not even have a voice.
It’s great to see that half the population is no longer told to stay home, to keep mum, purely based on their gender.
It’s great to see that many women have found their voice and that they use it.
The Divine Order will screen at 7.30pm at Joondalup Pines until Sunday, then at UWA’s Somerville Auditorium from April 9 to 15.
Following the journey of a man and an elephant, Pop Aye is screening at Somerville this week and will finish the season at Joondalup Pines from April 10 to 15.
Created in Thailand and Singapore, it is about middle aged architect who is reunited with his childhood elephant companion, Pop Aye.
Visit www.perthfestival.com.au for more information.