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Everyone who's known me a while knows I'm a feminist and you'll also know I'm liable to get on my hobby horse about it. The upcoming Australian Queen's Birthday honours list is just the sort of occasion to make me go wild cause so many of the (yes, mostly deserving) recipients are always men. So this week I'm turning it around and offering an alternative spin.
Firstly, a short list of international and local inspirational women, in no particular order:
Queen Elizabeth 1 (monarch of England & Ireland 1558 -1603, brought political and economic expansion, social and religious reform, and an age of creativity);
Christine Lagarde (French, current managing director of the IMF, impressed during her 2014 visit to Australia where she discussed her views on environment, economic equality and gender inclusion);
Catherine Helen Spence (Australian of Scottish origin, a generation before Emmaline Pankhurst, Catherine Helen Spence wrote about and fought for women's rights and suffrage in Australia in the late 1800s resulting in all women gaining the vote and right to stand for election 1 year after Federation in 1902. Her book Hand Fasted was a seminal read in my twenties);
Malala Yousafzai (Pakistani, 18 year old activist for female education, targeted and shot by the Taliban continues her own education and activism within the international community to promote girls' fundamental right to education);
Rosie Batty (Australian, domestic violence campaigner transformed the role of Australian of the Year in 2015 and Australia's approach to domestic violence);
Rachel Perkins (Australian, filmmaker, brings the stories of indigenous Australians to the broader Australian community in diverse, engaging and informative ways and in so doing changes how we perceive ourselves).
Notwithstanding the achievements of these women, the sort of things many women do simply do not attract attention yet lots of us have a profound impact on the lives of people around us. And that gets me to my Aunty Ruth (of the Sewing Treasure Chest fame in my last post). Aunty Ruth is the lynch pin around which her family turns. She is kind, warm hearted, thoughtful and the one I wanted to live with if I found myself orphaned. Her table was always overflowing with tasty treats, sweet and savoury. Aunty Ruth has her eye out for everyone and always selects the perfect birthday or Christmas presents. Her cards are always on time with loving words inside. With countless grandchildren and now some great grandchildren she still cares for 90 year old Uncle George; they're giggling and laughing all the time.
So, in honour of Aunty Ruth I did an embroidery of her a few years ago (you guessed it - that's it above). She's surrounded by the cakes she's famous for as well as one of her crocheted hangers (I won't be without them!). I hope you have an Aunty Ruth too!
And here's a typical afternoon tea at Aunty Ruth's - scrumptious!
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