A Feminist a Day: Zelda D’Aprano

Who is she?

ZeldaZelda famously chained herself to the Commonwealth Building in Spring St, Melbourne, in 1969 to bring attention to women’s fight for equal pay.

Born into poverty in Carlton, Zelda went to work in factories to support her family. Early on, she realised the inequalities faced by female workers. While working at the Meat Industry Union, she attended the hearings for the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission for equal pay – the meat industry was being used as a test case.

Frustrated by the lack of action, she decided to take matters into her own hands. After her famous ‘chaining’, she established the Women’s Action Committee. In 1972, the Commission extended equal pay provisions to women.

Why should we thank her?

Zelda raised the profile of the issue of equal pay for women at the time, and proved once again that drastic action sometimes needs to happen to force change.

It’s a reminder that one person’s voice can be a very powerful thing. And that we should remain ever vigilant about issues like equal pay – women today still face gender wage inequality.

Best quote

“And here are all these men arguing about how much we’re worth and all men are going to make the decision.”

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A Feminist a Day: Zelda D’Aprano

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