My friend Joan and I were discussing how great it would be if we got the womens' groups together to have a public discussion, and to share information about what they do.
As I've said before, it took me a long time to find the groups where women are active for change. I emailed Judith Stadtman Tucker of the Mothers Movement Online, a US, group, and asked her if she know of any similar groups in Australia. She directed me to The Mothers of Intervention, which existed as a web-based group, and was led by Liz Conor in Melbourne. I joined the group, and from them found out about other groups. The Mothers of Intervention doesn't exist anymore. The site was badly damaged and Liz is concentrating on other things. But it did connect a few mums who are interested in being active, and through the group I found out about The Association For Research on Mothering.
I also joined The Women's Electoral Lobby, which is probably the strongest of the feminist groups in Australia.
Joan and I were saying how it would be good to learn more about Women's Forum Australia (an independent women’s think-tank focusing on research, education and public policy to bring about positive changes for women), and any other national women's groups. Sometimes it is hard to wade through all the online information to find out what the stance is on certain issues, eg, abortion, or if the group is funded by, for example, a Christian church.
It would also be good to connect these groups with the ones that exist to lobby by issue, for example,
The Parents Jury (food and physical activity for children)
Australian Breastfeeding Association (support breastfeeding, and the right to breastfeed in public)
Maternal Coalition (lobby for birthing rights and maternity services)
Young Media (interested in how the media impacts on the development of children)
Kids Free 2B Kids (concerned about the increasing sexualisation of kids in the media, advertising, and clothing industries. Founded in February 2007 by Melbourne mother of two, Julie Gale).
There must be other groups as well.
It would be great if representatives from these groups met at a public forum, like the Sydney Writers Festival, or at a baby expo, or an event which is already established and already has an audience. Perhaps Insight could do a program. I'd certainly attend a public forum to see what groups lobby for which issues, how they operate, what their principles and policies are, how they can work together, and how mums can be involved.