Stronger Together.

The 2019 theme for International Women’s Day is #StrongerTogether

As women, many of us have felt the truth in the adage “there’s strength in numbers”. From when we first enter the world, many of us are fortunate to be surrounded by the support of women — from mothers and grandmothers to sisters and cousins, family friends and more. As we grow and begin to make our first forays into puberty, we form some of our earliest friendships with women by divulging our innermost fears and desires about the coming years. When will we get our first period? What will it feel like? When will our boobs start to develop? There’s a reason “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” remains a timelessly relatable read. But these early sisterhood support groups prepare us for a lifetime of being there for one another. Whether we’re marching together in student protests, or forming a book club, holding a mother’s meeting or joining a roller derby team — from walking home at night to sharing a collective trip to a public bathroom, we know that we can rely on other women for support. Entrenched somewhere within us is the knowledge that we’re stronger together.

For many of us, the first thrills of romantic and sexual entanglement are made all the more wonderful by talking about it at length with other women. We spend hours deciphering text messages, delighting in the details of first dates and first kisses. We’ll share a drink, or several, as we divulge the details of dates gone wrong, of sexual exploits that were less than orgasmic. And we’ll ask advice — how long should I wait before we sleep together? What kind of contraception should I trust? How do I know if I’ve got an STI? We trust our friends with these secret fears and doubts, we know they’ll steer us in the right direction. Because when we share our collective experiences we become stronger, together.

Currently, 1 in 4 Australian women will seek an abortion in their lifetime. We see many of these women. And so many of them come through our doors with another woman by their side, there to support them. Sometimes it’s their mum, their sister, or even another family member, but so often it’s a friend. A friend who understands what this means to them, who will know just what to say, and how to make everything as easy as possible. Because they know that they’re stronger together.

At Marie Stopes Australia we don’t just support women, we support their choices. We support a woman’s right to decide when and if she wants to have children. We support a woman’s right to access contraception, to access abortion, and to access counselling so she can make those decisions, and find an outcome that’s right for her. We support the women who work for us, and their right to provide our services without risking their personal safety. And we know that without our nurses, our doctors, our clinic and admin staff, our phone centre operators and our management teams, we wouldn’t be able to provide the support that we do for women in Australia and across the world. Because we know that we’re stronger together.

We realise though, that not everyone has the support of other women in their lives. Every day we hear from women who desperately need access to our services, but who don’t have the resources they need. No one to help them pay for the procedure, no one who can drive them to our clinics or help them get home safely, no one who can help look after their children while they make the journey to see us. We know that these women need women like you. Women who understand the incredible things we can achieve when we work together, what becomes possible when we lift each other up.

If you want to support women this International Women’s Day, please consider making a donation to our Choice Fund.

Let’s support each other, let’s continue to grow stronger, together.

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MSI Australia is the leading, accredited, national provider for abortion, contraception and vasectomy.

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MSI Australia

MSI Australia is the leading, accredited, national provider for abortion, contraception and vasectomy.