By Marie Sinanidis.
Greece’s women in power were celebrated at the launch of Peter Andrinopoulos’ book, Greek women of influence 1821-2021at Alphington Grammar on Sunday 26th June.
The book, outlining the achievements of nearly 300 prominent women from around the world, came just days after the US Supreme Court erased women’s influence over their own reproductive rights with the reversal of the ruling landmark legalizing abortion in Roe v Wade. The irony of this moment was not lost on Victoria’s former health minister, Jenny Mikakos, one of the women featured in the book.
She spoke about this loss for women when asked to address the public as a “woman of influence”. For systematic change, she pinned her hopes on the “power of education” to help empower women. She called on the Greek community to give kind consideration to Ukrainian women currently seeking refuge in Greece, especially bearing in mind Greek refugees from Asia Minor, Pontus and Cyprus.
With influence comes responsibility, and Ms. Mikakos uses her influence to raise funds for the appeal for Ukrainian refugees in Greece to help give mothers and children the opportunity to learn the Greek language.
She highlighted the “unsung heroes” found in the book, admitting there were stories she didn’t know before and will use the book as a springboard for further research.
Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes, who launched the book, said she “was delighted to know Jenny”. She said The Greek Herald that as an Italian-born woman raised in working-class North Melbourne, she found the women included in the book to be relatable.
“All women can see glimpses of us in these remarkable women,” she said.
Speaking about the importance of the book for women, Ms Ambrosio said that “remembering them, commemorating them, celebrating them” is important.
“It’s important to capture the essence of these wonderful women through a range of activities,” she said.
For some of the women in attendance, like Fronditha Care president Jill Nikitakis Taylor and music producer/journalist Mary Mihelakos, inclusion in the book came as a surprise.
“I was looking to find my friend Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos and it was a surprise to find myself on the list of women of influence,” said Ms. Nikitakis, adding that “a book like this is very important for our culture. and for women in light”. of everything that is happening in the world. »
The Greek-Australian women featured in the book are numerous and include Pontian activist/community member Litsa Athanasiadis, engineer/director Martha Oplopiadis, veteran journalists Dina Gerolymou, Helen Kapalos, Rena Frangioudaki, PRONIA chairman Kris Pavlidis, academic Joy Damousi and many more. After.
They are all presented in alphabetical order, interspersed with other global cultural heavyweights like Nana Mouskouri, Melina Mercouri and Helene Glykatzi-Ahrweiler. It is an encyclopedia of great Greek women.
Mr Andrinopoulos said choosing the women to feature in the book was not an easy task. He collected 1,000 stories over an 18-month period as Australia plunged into lockdown. “I don’t have Netflix,” he joked.
“The idea has its genesis when I was a teenager and saw the inequalities in the world that women face,” he said. The Greek Herald.
To prove his point, he pointed to dance duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, who the world mostly remembers for the former’s dance moves rather than his female partner.
“Fred Astaire was a great dancer, but Ginger danced in high heels and did it upside down,” Mr. Andrinopoulos said. “Traditionally men are revered but women are left out if they even get a mention.”
Mr. Andrinopoulos did not omit other women influencers – those who influence influencers. He addresses those of his life in the book’s prologue: “This book is dedicated to the strong women who are important in my life, from my wife Dimitra, my mother Marianna, my sister Tina, my mother-in-law Asimo, my daughter-in-law Victoria and my niece Yahna.
The new book may focus on the world’s most influential women, but it’s the ordinary women who can be seen between the lines in Women’s Heroic Journeys. It is these ordinary women who will achieve the extraordinary by pushing for abortion reform, demanding equal pay, and working three jobs to raise their children as single parents and never give up. These are the women who will turn to the movers and shakers, those mentioned in the book, for advice and mentorship as they move on.
Women of influence cannot do it alone without other women supporting them, and without men who see the injustice and help them in their mission. On March 23, Mr. Andrinopoulos – the vice president of the Kalamata Society – presented the book to an equally divided and age-diverse audience, showing that gender issues are not a women’s affair but a matter of interest. general.
‘Women of Influence 1821-2021’ by Peter Andrinopoulos is sponsored by the Victorian Government, Delphi Bank and the Society of Kalamata 23 March. For a copy, email [email protected]