International Women’s Day was acknowledged and celebrated on March 11, and SSI used the occasion to highlight the strengths, vulnerabilities and specific needs of refugee women.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said: “Refugee women are survivors, protectors and providers.”
“They are more vulnerable to severe and systematised human rights abuses. SSI supports about 1000 women considered ‘vulnerable and at risk’. These women embody the consequences of gender inequality.
“If we empower these women, we empower humanity.”
Using SSI’s Facebook and Twitter channels, Ms Roumeliotis pointed people to the report produced following the Women at Risk forum hosted by SSI in June, last year. This report detailed the experiences of women from refugee backgrounds and plotted a path to supporting their needs in future.
SSI also took part in an International Women’s Day event attended by about 400 women, including 50 SSI clients from refugee backgrounds, who celebrated the day at a lunch in Auburn.
The lunch was organised by Auburn Diversity Services Inc. in partnership with SSI, Navitas, the Salvation Army, the NSW Police Force, Brighter Futures Cumberland and Breast Screen NSW.
Craig Laundy MP, Federal Member for Reid, addressed the gathering and spoke about his commitment to his electorate, in which the event was held, and reaffirmed his support for the multicultural community and women in particular.
Superintendent Karen Webb, from NSW Police, spoke to the audience about her journey as a woman in a male-dominated sector.
The women were entertained by an array of traditional dance performances from around the world, and enjoyed the opportunity to meet other women and the MP.