For this year’s International Women’s Day, Kate Leaney, Social Justice Officer at the Uniting Church WA, takes 5 minutes with us to reflect, and share some of her inspirations and passions.
Which women inspire you the most and why?
Wawira Njiru: She is the founder and CEO of Food for Education, a not for profit organisation in Kenya currently feeding 10 000 kids a day, and is already planning to scale to feeding 100 000 children per day this year. In the midst of that, she’s still somehow a really down to earth and present friend and she inspires my life and work greatly.
Tarana Burke: The founder of the #MeToo movement (before it resurged as a hashtag!) and a fierce civil rights activist – her vision for the Me Too movement to be “part of a collective vision to see a world free of sexual violence” is extremely powerful.
What issue that affects women breaks your heart the most and what would you like to change?
In Australia, one in three women experience physical violence in their lifetime – the fact that this is so prevalent, and has been for so long, is heartbreaking. Obviously what I want to change is for that number to be zero!
But at the very least, to see women believed when they disclose abuse, to see more vocal advocates calling for change, and for people to be working together proactively to counter this injustice and change the trend – so our daughters and granddaughters aren’t telling the same story.
What are you most passionate about at the moment?
Social.Justice.Church: Being part of a community where my faith and heart for justice intersect is really important to me. I’m passionate about continuing to cultivate a space where that’s possible for others, too – no matter their sexuality, gender, race, ability, background or life circumstance. It’s a growing community that is unapologetically affirming, and driven to counter injustice; working towards a renewed world where all people have equal opportunity to thrive.
Social.Justice.Church meets at 6.00pm on the second Sunday of the month, at Uniting Church in the City, Wesley Perth. Follow the Social Justice Commission Facebook page to keep updated.
Tell us some good news that’s happening in your world?
One of the best parts of my role is working with emerging leaders who have lived experience of seeking asylum in Australia, and who are the most incredible advocates. I learn so much every day we work together and I know that they’ll be continuing to lead movements well into the future.
What would be your superpower?
Teleportation! Then visiting family and friends all over the world would be easy!