VIEW: What does International Women’s Day mean to me?

The below is a guest post from Dr Diaswati (Asti) Mardiasmo, Chief Economist of PRD Real Estate.

International Women’s Day has always had a special place in my heart, I am always filled with pride and a sense of peace and calm when I see the many events and initiatives celebrating a multitude of women from all different walks of life.

Personally, when I think of International Women’s Day three key words come to mind: strength, resilience, and unity.

2020 was a difficult year for me, as I went through the process of divorce. And yet it was my girlfriends who came to pray with me the day prior to my divorce hearing, and it was with their strength that I faced court. When I lost my unborn son in 2015, it was my girlfriends’ endless support that kept me going. They rotated to ensure that I had fresh meals and company each day.

When I look at myself, and the journey of my 35 years on earth, as well as all the other women around me – regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, relationship status, kids/no kids, health and family issues, and a myriad of other things that differentiate us as human beings; I consistently see STRENGTH.

I see an immense amount of strength through their laughter, joy, tears, worries, and even silent anger. I see their strength to always choose love and be there for the people that matter to her (partner, husband, children, family, etc); sometimes at the expense of herself. I see strength as she battles her own demons, her insecurities, her self-worth; to make sure she shows up and becomes her best self for the people she loves.

I look around at the women who have graciously allowed me to become part of their life and I see such amazing high RESILIENCE. The tenacity and determination to keep on going, keep on creating, keep on standing up, keep on pushing, keep on hustling, keep on growing – so much so that it takes my breath away. I see their resilience when they are told, “No, we cannot give you this opportunity as it would be more suited to someone who is not planning on having a family”, or when they become disadvantaged because of their gender.

I see their resilience as COVID-19 hit and suddenly their world is turned upside down. Whether it is transitioning to work from home, having to suddenly home-school children, not being able to see family, loss of income / employment, and many others. Yet through this, I see my female friends fighting through, to keep all balls juggled in the air.

Through it all, the good bad and ugly, I see UNITY. I see female friends banding together to create specific businesses. To make meals for each other and cry together over cake. To take turns in having playdates so that our children are entertained, and we give each other a break. To laugh together at virtual girls’ nights in our homes, with wine in our tea mugs.

International Women’s Day allows us to celebrate each other and remind ourselves that we are not alone. International Women’s Day reminds us that it is okay for us to reach out and lean on each other, and that we are united in our want to continue being strong and resilient.

International Women’s Day is also about saying thank you. Every day I draw inspiration from the myriad of challenges that they overcome, the joy that they share. THANK YOU to each woman on this earth for being you. Because without you, I would not be the woman that I am today. 

About the expert

Dr Diaswati (Asti) Mardiasmo is Chief Economist of PRD Real Estate. She monitors a wide variety of macro and microeconomic trends, both within and external to Australia, that directly and indirectly impact the Australian residential real estate (housing) market. She is a member of the Residential Committee 2021-2022 for the Property Council of Australia, a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia Liaison Program, and an industry partner within the Australian Federal Government Cooperative Research Centre for Longevity.

Asti leads a team which supports over 75 PRD franchises, providing them with market-leading local real estate knowledge. She initiates and contributes to property asset related research for a variety of governmental, academic, organisational and private stakeholders; as well as offering customised research services to a variety of clients which has previously included developers, planners, not-for-profits, private companies, individuals, and more.

Image description: Dr Asti is standing with her long black hair tied back, wearing a vertically striped collared shirt. She is smiling and standing inside an office building, with her hands folded in front of her.