It’s not only men in uniform who pay the price of war


Donated by Diana Pittock

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

This badge was worn in the 1980s to raise awareness of the experience of women in war. The line ‘it’s not only men in uniform who pay the price of war’ is a lyric from the song ‘Lest We Forget’ by Australian singer/songwriter Judy Small.

The song was often sung at marches on ANZAC Day held by women protesting against the glorification of male violence in war. The protesters sought to raise awareness of the women of all nations who suffered in war, and to reclaim ANZAC Day as a day of mourning for women as well as men.

The donor of this badge, Diana Pittock, writes:

In the 1980s both the peace movement and the women’s movement were active. Some women focussed on the plight of civilians in war, especially of women and children. While being aware of the horrors men experienced and were ordered to perform at times, the rape, other violence and anguish for women seemed to have been lost in the regular ANZAC Day commemorations. Men and drinking reunions seemed to be the focus.

Thus some women’s groups organised anti-ANZAC Day Actions. The first was in Canberra, and subsequently there were rallies in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney at least. Violence, instigated by other people, erupted in Canberra the first time despite the women’s non-violence training. In Melbourne there were three different activities in April 1985. One group had organised a rally in previous years. Our group wanted a specifically non-violent walk … on ANZAC eve and a poster display in the small city square next to the Town Hall illustrating examples of the violence to women in war.