Women-led comedy on #IWD is a hit!

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a day to recognise how far we’ve come towards gender equality, while recognising how far we have left to go, because progress hasn’t been equal. It’s a day to stand in solidarity with our sisters, and acknowledge the remaining inequalities faced by women of colour, women with disability, and queer and trans women.

International Women’s Day is a reminder that if one woman faces inequality, we all do.

This International Women’s Day, we introduced our Comedy Showcase with some of Australia’s leading, intersectional, women comedians. With shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane, members and supporters came together to have a laugh, expand networks and to champion the voices of women throughout Australia.

Each night was opened with a Welcome to Country (or Acknowledgement of Country). Aunty Anne in Sydney shared with everyone her hopes for women in the future, reflecting that in our First Nations culture, women are, and always have been, equal. She shared her hopes that Australia would find its way and embrace all women. Ending with a toast, Aunty Anne raised a glass with her parting words inspiring the audience:

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

It was important for YWCA that the venues we chose were accessible and feminist.

  • In Melbourne, Hares and Hyenas is a sexuality and gender diverse (queer) bookshop.
  • In Adelaide, Sparkke at the Whitmore is Australia’s first female founded and led brew pub.
  • In Sydney, The Freedom Hub is a profit-for-purpose business that supports survivors of modern slavery.
  • In Brisbane, the Regatta Hotel was the location of Merle Thornton and Rosalie Bognor’s protest for women’s rights when they chained themselves to the bar to protest the ban on women drinking in a public bar.

Our comedians left our audience laughing, crying, and in some cases – in somber reflection.

In Melbourne, the extremely talented Aurelia St Clair’s deadpan delivery and dark sense of humour charmed the audience in her show “Woke”, leaving them hanging on every word. Wrangling with the heavy topics of colonialism, childhood poverty and racism, Aurelia brought lightness to topics that would challenge most people.  

In Sydney, comedian Lily Starr’s sold out “An Hour with Lily” show left audiences in stitches and questioning – is “Jack Jack Jackie” really the first open lesbian dedication song? Not for the faint hearted, Lily covered topics including her life as a lesbian, heroine musical comedy, her epilepsy diagnosis and the trials of being a school teacher.

In Adelaide, award-winning Elizabeth Davie delivered her show “Super Woman Money Program”, exploring superannuation and gendered financial inequality on a political and a personal level. Elizabeth’s show managed to deliver a somber message in a funny way – educating while entertaining!

In Brisbane, Lauren Bonner brought the audience along on her self-deprecating, relatable, yet hilarious dating journey with her show “Heartbreaker”. Modern dating can be a minefield, but as Lauren showed us, it can also be comedy gold!

All our Comedy Showcase events showed that intersectional women comedian voices are something that we need to see more of! We are honoured to be have brought these fantastic events to our members, and provide a safe place to for people to connect. We look forward to continuing our work towards creating a future where all women, young women and girls are equal, safe and respected.

Want to stay up to date with the latest YWCA Australia events, and be a part of Australia’s leading intersectional feminist organisation? Sign up as a member today!

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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