Union of Australian Women Collection, UQFL193, Box 24, item 70
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The Union of Australian Women was a national organisation, formed in 1950. Its aim was to work for the status and wellbeing of women across the world. It was involved in a wide variety of campaigns that concern women, and networked with other women's community and union groups on such issues. The national branch closed in 1995 and the Queensland branch disbanded in 1999.
Metal badge with a gold border inscribed with '1910 - 1960' and featuring a dove at the centre top. In the centre of the badge is a prominent date marker of '3.8' and three women in profile. Below this are Chinese characters that translate as '50 years anniversary'.
International Women's Day is observed each year on March 8th. The first internationally observed Women's Day took place in March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, yet the call for such a day came from socialist women leaders at the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1910. While officially adopted by the Soviet Union as a holiday following the October Revolution, and, later, taken up by other socialist countries, it was not until the late 1970s that the day was popularly observed in the West. In Australia, International Women's Day was a fringe event with strong communist associations. In the years following World War II, it was almost solely organised by the left-leaning Union of Australian Women.
1972, however, marked a shift in celebrations and heralded the first new-wave International Women's Day. Rallies and marches took place in the major cities, with up to 3,000 women marching in Melbourne. During International Women's Year (1975), the UN gave the day official recognition, and in 1977 declared March 8 the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.
The 50th anniversary of International Women's Day in 1960 was commemorated by a conference in Copenhagen. It was attended by 729 delegates from 73 countries, including Doris Webb from the Union of Australian Women.