International Women’s Day roundup: Who’s celebrating? Who’s hating?

The Aussie media has taken International Women’s Day on board, but not everyone’s loving it

The Aussie media has taken International Women’s Day on board, with several outlets taking the opportunity to showcase female talent. Meanwhile, some conservative columnists have roasted plans to celebrate the day.

ABC / triple j

To mark International Women’s Day 2017 the ABC is putting its lineup of female leaders to the fore.

On March 8, programs and content across radio, television and digital will reflect the day’s theme of #BeBoldForChange and focus on the need for change and gender equality in all communities.

Commencing at 6am with ABC News Breakfast an all-female lineup will lead the major radio and TV news bulletins and current affairs programs and present across the day on NewsRadio and News 24.

ABC Radio will also showcase the breadth of female broadcasting and creative talent with all-women presenters on all networks, while special content through the day explores the need for change and gender equality. Jane Caro will take on hosting duties on Conversations at 11am on Local Radio. Her guest will be award-winning journalist Joanne McCarthy.

In support of the day, a campaign will run across radio, online, digital and social channels, spearheaded by a 30-second television promo where deeply respected broadcasters including Kumi Taguchi, Joe O’Brien, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Myf Warhurst, Chris Bath, Beverly O’Connor, Linda Marigliano and Fran Kelly share the advice they would give to their younger selves.

Triple j too is celebrating tomorrow as listeners will be waking up with Veronica Milsom & Alex Lee on Breakfast, Zan Rowe on Mornings, Gen Fricker at Lunch, from Coda Conduct, Sally Coleman & Erica Mallett on Drive, Sarah McVeigh hosting Hack, Linda Marigliano on Good Nights, Bridget Hustwaite on Home & Hosed, and a special Short.Fast.Loud. with Pagan frontwoman, Nikki Bruman.

Triple j’s Hack has crunched the numbers again on the representation of women in the Australian music industry. They’ve explored the gender splits between artists in the charts, on festival lineups, award nominations, sitting on boards, running indie labels and of course getting paid. See the infographic below.

Triple j Unearthed is featuring “Seven Important New Voices in Australian Music”, including interviews with Boat Show, Glitoris, The Football Club, Le Pie, Miss Blanks, Moaning Lisa and Pagan, sharing stories about how they’re challenging the music industry and initiating change. Triple j Unearthed will of course also be bringing you the best independent music made by women from all around the nation, with Unearthed fave Maggie Collins hosting Tops at 5.30pm.

And on Double J, Myf Warhurst will be joined by all female guests including All Our Exes Live in Texas and a spotlight on the Desert Divas project. At 2pm, Karen Leng will be interviewing musician, mentor and label boss Jen Cloher. Sarah Howells will be presenting a WOMAdelaide special edition of Fat Planet and across the day you will hear song selections from inspiring female artists, including Kathleen Hannah, Mia Dyson, Kasey Chambers, Laura Marling, Holly Throsby, The Clouds and Katy Steele.


SBS Viceland tomorrow will feature a special International Women’s Day episode of nightly youth news and current affairs program The Feed, and a marathon premiere screening of new documentary series, Woman with Gloria Steinem.

From 7.30pm, The Feed reporter Laura Murphy-Oates will kick regular host Marc Fennell off the desk to join co-host Jan Fran. Alongside all the news of the day, the episode will feature a story about florist-turned-lawyer, Jo Byrne – who also happens to be a single mum of seven kids.
SBS Viceland audiences will then be treated to the Australian premiere of Emmy-nominated series Woman with Gloria Steinem, with a marathon of the entire series broadcast from 8.30pm.

Hit Network

In an Australian radio first, Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network has revealed it will celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8 March with a national metro breakfast show led by its female talent.

Anchored by Fox FM’s Fifi Box and 2Day FM’s Em Rusciano in Sydney, the show will also feature Abby Coleman from Hit105, Heidi Anderson from Hit92.9, Cat Lynch from Hit107, Hit Network national show hosts Ash London, Carrie Bickmore, Sam Frost and Constance Hall, as well as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman.

Head of content for The Hit Network Gemma Fordham said, “The Hit Network is proud to interact with so many women on a daily basis, and so we believe it is important to celebrate women and highlight our dedication to driving the conversation around equality on International Women’s Day.

“We think it’s important we use our platform and voices to raise awareness of the many serious issues around inequality that women face globally.

“We want to help all women to have the belief that they are just as smart, strong, authentic, and humorous and empowered as their male counterparts.  We need to work together with all the great men in our lives to make this happen.”

Fifi Box said, “We have so many strong successful female broadcasters on the Hit Network and I am so excited that we’ll get to share a studio to celebrate International Women’s Day. As I have only ever broadcast on the radio with men it will be a revolutionary show that I can’t wait to be a part of.”

Em Rusciano said, “We’ve come a long way as women but there are still many things that need to get better.

“I encourage all people, men and women, to keep fighting for equality!”

The Hit Network’s International Women’s Day breakfast show will air 6-9am across metro Australia and the show will be live streamed on and via Facebook Live.


Ahead of International Women’s Day, Bluesfest is celebrating the ladies who are performing at the festival in 2017:

They come from many genres and musical backgrounds, but one thing they have in common is their powerful voices and important contributions to music today. Patti Smith’s revolutionary album “Horses” changed the face of rock forever, inspiring generations of musicians to create loud, sincere music that could change the world. Mary J. Blige is the undisputed queen of R&B, selling more than 50 million albums worldwide.

Bluesfest is particularly honoured to have women of different ages and backgrounds represented. 78-year-old Mavis Staples rose to stardom in the segregated America of the 1960s. She became a leading voice in the civil rights movement and inspired Martin Luther King Jnr. We are also proud to be hosting Australia’s own 30-year-old Courtney Barnett who has just started to take the world by storm.

Who’s hating?

Not everyone is celebrating the initiative, with News Corp’s Sharri Markson reporting:

The move has left many asking: Why does the ABC only promote its ­female leaders one day of the year?

Even worse: Why is the national broadcaster patronising women so badly by suggesting that men need to be banned before they can get a prominent hosting gig.

In a column a year ago, News Corp’s Sarrah Le Marquand wrote:

Why do we have an International Women’s Day? Because every other day of the year is International Men’s Day.

Meanwhile a year later in the same News Corp forum, Gold Coast-based freelance writer Corrine Barraclough comments:

Thousands of deluded feminists are clearing their throats ready to start bleating about the oppression of the patriarchy, squawking about the fantasy gender pay gap and banging on drums to the rhythm of “poor me”.

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