Image: Defense One
Wow, 2021. What a shit show. After the year that was 2020 you were thought to be our shining light at the end of the tunnel. A fresh year and a fresh start to overcome an unprecedented 12 months. But (*insert exhale) we're now well and truly past the half way mark and it's clear that this year is anything but.
This week in particular has been exceptionally overwhelming and anxiety-inducing with a number of events taking place across not only Australia, but world-wide.
We know that these are scary times that we as a society have never faced before. With so much happening, and mainstream media coming at us from every angle, we know it can be hard to keep up, let alone digest it all properly and know how to take action.
This is why we've pulled together information on a few of the key events and issues of the week and some simple ways that you can educate, take action and share the message.
The Taliban now controls Afghanistan
Since the commencement of their offensive in Afghanistan in May 2021, the Taliban have seized 18 provincial capitals in Afghanistan. 12 of these capitals were seized within one week and amongst these were two of Afghanistan's most prominent cities, Kandahar and Herat. Taliban forces have now infiltrated the Logar pronvince of Afghanistan, which is extremely close to the capital, Kabul.
Afghan civilians have thus been forced to flee their homes and reside in parks and stadiums in the nation's capital, Kabul. The Taliban have forced Afghan women, as young as 15, to marry Taliban fighters. Homes have been looted and set on fire. Mass killings and massacres are already taking place.
What can you do?
Implore your Australian MP to speak out for Afghanistan and provide humanitarian assistance. Here is a great template that will find your correct federal district MP details and email them.
If you're looking for more information on how these events unfold in Afghanistan, here is a great place to start.
Australian state governments are introducing vaccination passports
There have been rumours of Australian Covid-19 vaccination passports for a while now, but this week both Queensland and Western Australian state governments have bought them to life with the introduction of vaccination passports for those wishing to enter either state.
This is not an issue of whether you are for or against the Covid-19 vaccine, but rather an issue of basic human rights, freedom and upholding of our Australian constitution.
By enabling states to mandate domestic vaccination passports, we're allowing for discrimination on the basis of whether a person has had a Covid-19 vaccination in the provision of goods, services and facilities; and in relation to employment, education, accommodation and sport.
What can you do?
Watch the below Instagram Live as Anna-Rose explains more about the vaccination passports and the legislation currently proposed before Parliament.
Anna-Rose has put together an email template for those wishing to take action in support of the proposed bill, NO DOMESTIC COVID VACCINE PASSPORTS BILL 2021.
We are in a global climate emergency
A few days ago, the IPCC released their new report, summing up work from over 14,000 research papers on our changing climate, with a key conclusion- we are in a climate emergency.
The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850. Our global surface temperature is at an alarming level and our sea-levels have nearly tripled compared with 1901-1971.
The report is yet another reminder of how human activity is impacting the climate across every region of the globe with some change now inevitable and irreversible.
What can you do?
Earthrise Studio has put together 7 things you can do right now to take action on climate change.
Australia's is facing a youth mental health crisis
Australian youth, in particular young females, are going through what has now been crowned as the "shadow pandemic".
Experts say that whilst the government recognises the problem, it is not applying the same urgency that it applies to responding to Covid-19.
On top of this, the government is refusing to release regular reports detailing an explosion in mental health cases including eating disorders, suicidal ideation and self-harm treated by hospitals, psychiatrists and GPs.
What can you do?
Check in on those around you, and if you need support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
Our lockdown survival guide also has some great tips for getting through these challenging times.
While we think this is possibly the most overwhelming week we've had to face yet, remember you are not alone and the Woman community is always here.
We'll leave you with the wise words of Christina Macpherson...
"Undoubtedly there’s a heaviness hanging over us all. But there’s a much bigger heaviness and fear and true loss depending where you are in the world. And it’s important to remember that. That your feelings are valid - of course they are - but to also remember that perspective is important. That there is a ladder of urgency, and we can aid in helping by learning and talking and sharing. We can do all this, and do it all safely from the other thing we’re so lucky to have - a home ❤️"