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July 16, 2018 | by  | in VUWSA |
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VUWSA

It’s finally women’s week — our designated time to acknowledge the value of women in our community. While we still have a way to go till we can walk home at night without keys jammed between our knuckles, it is important to celebrate how far we have come.

We should celebrate the women that fought and died for our vote; that argued for equal access to education, and those that made the most of it. Celebrate women who stepped up and claimed their identities and made Pride happen; who forgot about fear and named their abusers.
But on weeks as rare as this one, we should also celebrate women closer to home, whose achievements won’t be in history books, but whose contributions are just as significant — because they carry household burdens and their backs don’t break.
I celebrate my mum during women’s week, and maybe you should too — or your nan, your aunt, your sister, your teacher, whoever got you here and made you keep going.
Times get tough and my mum gets tougher, and I couldn’t be more grateful that she did it with generosity and empathy.
When we first emigrated here, my dad got into a car accident, which took him pretty well out of action for 6 years. My mum, a teacher aid, stepped up to the plate — primary caregiver (to three kids and a grown man) and primary earner. When she realised her and her colleagues weren’t being paid their worth she made it a union battle, and you know what, she bloody won it too. She went to University here and became the first in her family to graduate. She always pushes for me and my sisters to be sure of our voices and our value. Her impact on my character is more impactful than any historical freedom fighter, and all the women who raised us deserve that acknowledgement. Our lives would be terrible and different without the vote — but we wouldn’t be individuals built up and supported to use our freedoms without those women.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this