Feminists come to fore at Australian miners' meet
A group of radical French feminists made themselves unwelcome guests at a meeting of Melbourne's mining club last week.
Clearly viewing irony as a superior form of wit, they congratulated Australia's mining industry on excluding women and lobbying against the country's carbon tax.
Feminist group crashes mining meeting in Australia
By Cecilia Jamasmie
16 May 2012
Australian Mining is reporting [see below] a group of bearded women belonging to the feminist group La Barbe, crashed last night's Melbourne Mining Club meeting to congratulate the mining industry for its exclusion of women and its lobbying against the carbon tax.
Wearing fake beards, the hairy representatives said they wanted to "congratulate the beard dominated gathering on its efforts to strengthen the patriarchy by fast tracking climate change," quotes the newspaper.
La Barbe (The Beard) is a French feminist group started several years ago in response to the sexist media treatment of Segolene Royal in her presidential race against Nicholas Sarkozy.
"While they were polite, they were uninvited and unwelcome, and their issues seemed to be addressed not so much at the mining industry rather more at women's role in society in general," Melbourne Mining Club's Chris Fraser told Australian Mining.
Recently, Australia has been publicly supporting the inclusion of women in mining.
At the end of 2011, a group called Australia Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) was created to increase female participation in the sector. The group is working in partnership with the industry and the Federal Government's Critical Skills Investment Fund to boost the attraction and retention rate of women in the resources industry.
Last February, the New South Wales Minerals Council launched a Women in Mining Network to boost female participation in the industry, which stands at just 10%.
And in March, the University of Queensland published a study, commissioned by the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA), recommending a far greater involvement of women in mining as they are "the largest, mostly untapped, labour pool available to the industry."
Bearded women crash Melbourne Mining Club dinner
16 May 2012
Last night's Melbourne Mining Club meeting was crashed by a group of female protestors in beards.
According to the group known as La Barbe, they gathered to 'congratulate the beard dominated gathering on its efforts to strengthen the patriarchy by fast tracking climate change".
The group crashed the Cutting Edge Series and proceeded to "congratulate" the mining industry for its exclusion of women and its lobbying against the carbon tax.
Currently, the number of women in mining is growing, with women accounting for around 15% of overall workers in the industry.
The women in beards then proceeded to present Richard Morrow from E.L. & C. Baillieu with a 'prestigious Golden Beard award for his services".
Speaking to the Melbourne Mining Club's Chris Fraser, he said the protestors came in towards end of the actual meeting.
"While they were polite, they were uninvited and unwelcome, and their issues seemed to be addressed not so much at the mining industry rather more at women's role in society in general," Fraser told Australian Mining.
"There was no hostility, either from the crowd or the protestors; the audience called for them to get off the stage and to turn the microphones off, which happened, and after that the women left."
Le Barbe describes itself as a satirical French feminist action group.