International Womens Day, Julie Magro

Who needs a Mum hug?

Look no further than our community Imperial Mum, Julie Magro. Ally, activist, parent, friend, feminist. These are just some of the labels (if you’re into labels) that can be used to describe one of our women of the week this International Women’s Day.

Julie is one of those great examples of a parent that has room in their heart for all kids, whatever their age, gender and identity. She’s a super proud Mum of her own kids and through her own life experiences, encourages us all to learn and grow year by year.

This week we caught up with Julie and talked about her journey as a women in this world: past, present and future.

 

Cartoon illustration of people smiling and protesting with a sign saying FREE HUGS

Cartoon by Bunkwaa

Over the years how have you seen female empowerment evolve? From the media, or even your own experience in the workplace. What are some significant moments for you?

We have seen a growth in the number of protests against misogyny and toxic masculinity. It seems more women have found their voice and are not afraid to use it. While there is still work to be done closing the gender pay gap, in my own experience, I have been lucky in my administrative role in which I feel equally valued and remunerated.  However, there are still conversations to be had in regards to gendered division of labour, which ultimately is a problem we need to face in order to close the gap.

The most significant moment for me, was the largely successful call to protest in response to the election of the current President of the United States. It was exciting to experience a protest that had such global implications for women around the world, but also so incredibly relevant to our political climate in Australia.  It was a huge moment of global solidarity.A group photo of a woman posing with four drag queens in a park

Who are some female role models in your life?

 First of all, Malala Yousafzai is a huge inspiration for me because of the lengths she went to defend a women’s rights to an education. Marsha P Johnson is another inspiration for her activism as a transgender woman in the days of the Stonewall Riots.

Elizabeth Taylor is an idol of mine for her advocacy for the LGBTI+ community in a time and place where it was almost dangerous to be an ally. The work she did for people who lived with HIV/AIDS informs my own allyship today.

Lastly, Lady Gaga has allowed me to be unapologetically me. As someone who suffers from fibromyalgia, it is encouraging to see someone else with fibromyalgia be so strong in the face of adversity.

A woman posing for a photo with a friendWhat defines femininity in your world?

I think femininity is an important quality in everyone. I think to be feminine is to be empathetic, sensitive, and strong, and if we all tapped into our feminine side the world would be a different place.

Feminine is not word that means weak; it is more of an expression of strength. To be feminine in today’s society is to be brave.

A woman and son holding cardboard protest signs
While we continue to strive for diversity, equality and inclusiveness in our community – what do you think are the biggest challenges we face in today’s climate? How do we overcome them?

Domestic violence is at an all time high in Australia. The change begins with men taking responsibility for their own role in the patriarchal society that creates the toxic environment we live in today. The change begins at the top with men in government taking domestic violence seriously rather than victim blaming.

Another challenge is acceptance of transwomen in our feminist movement. Transwomen face a disproportionate amount of discrimination and violence and must be included in our movement against misogyny. This can happen through listening and uplifting trans voices and standing with them as equals.

 

Who will you be celebrating this International Women’s Day?
Share with us you favourite fems in the comments below!