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International Women’s Day: Politics and Power

“Women who often have the least amount of resources, that have the least safety net, that have the least visibility, that have the least voices or representation in parliament – are usually the ones who launch the fiercest protests. The most dangerous protests.” – Fatima Bhutto

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On International Women’s Day 2023, three powerhouse women came together for a galvanising conversation exploring politics and power through a global feminist lens.

Bestselling Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto has spoken around the world about women in leadership, the role of violence in politics and the challenges of democracy, sharing her personal experiences growing up in a political family shadowed by violence. Author, journalist and artist Shokoofeh Azar sought political asylum in Australia after being jailed three times in Iran while covering stories about Iranian social and human rights issues. Her novel The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the International Booker Prize.

With journalist and filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe, they shared their personal and professional experiences as creative women in public life. Together, they interrogated the importance of freedom of speech and agency for women around the world, reflecting on the most pressing global issues affecting women and how feminist innovation can create a better, equal future.

Presented in partnership with RMIT Culture.

This event was supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, a Victorian Government and City of Melbourne partnership.


This event was recorded on Wednesday 8 March 2023 at The Capitol.

The official bookseller for this event was Amplify Bookstore.

Featured music is AVA LOW – No One There.

Photo by Ernesto Arriagada

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