National African Women's Council launched by Governor General

National African Women's Council launched by Governor General

March 19, 2010

Governor General Her Excellency Quentin Byrce today launched the African Women’s Council of Australia at the National Symposium on Racism at Murdoch University.

She said she was grateful that such leadership as that being shown by the African women in Australia had found its way to this country’s shores and communities.

Following a striking African cultural performance showcasing the diversity of women and the beauty of Africa, the Governor General said she was honoured and privileged to be able to lend her support to such an important initiative as the new Council.

She used the evocative quote “women hold up half the sky” to illustrate the importance of African women’s voices.

Recounting a cultural exchange last year with the first female Prime Minister of Mozambique, the Governor General said she had arrived in Africa knowing that the face of poverty was a woman, but left knowing that the face of its future leadership was also a woman.

She was presented with a traditional African garment from African Women’s Council President Dr Casta Tungaraza and symposium MC Geraldine Mellet.

Dr Tungaraza said it was vital for grassroots African women’s voices to be heard in order to find and offer solutions to build self-esteem and fight discrimination, stop domestic violence and other forms of abuse going on in the African community, and stem the growing numbers of young African mothers.

The Council would be a platform to discuss these issues and develop strategies to overcome threats to social cohesion and benefit African families at a time when there were growing concerns over numbers of African children being taken into care in WA.

It would also play a unique role in advising government on a wide range of such issues.

The African community had a strong role to play in building a strong Australia, she added.

Image courtesy of The Age.

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