Claire Coulson and Meree Aucote at Pacific Bay Resort.
Claire Coulson and Meree Aucote at Pacific Bay Resort. Trevor Veale

Women gather to celebrate

ONE hundred women gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day yesterday at the Zonta IWD Breakfast at C.ex Coffs.

In a typical Coffs Harbour response to an event, organisers were tearing their hair out on Monday as sluggish early bookings turned into a stampede for seats.

Speakers at the event looked at the situation of women, who have a world of opportunities available but earn 18% less than men in NSW and trail male workers by 26% in WA.

They also glanced back at the distance covered in the last 100 years.

Keynote speaker Karen Willis, the chief executive of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, pulled no punches in wading into the topic of sexual and domestic violence, a crime in which women are overwhelmingly the victims.

Forget stranger danger, Ms Willis told the audience, only one per cent of perpetrators are strangers.

The rest are known to the victims and 70% is perpetrated by people close to the victims – partners, family members or close friends.

She finished her talk on a more optimistic note, talking about moves by men to change the prevailing culture and a new emphasis on sexual ethics.



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