What’s really going on in your head? Gender Equality.

Last Friday I went along to the Botanical Gardens to attend a forum from Our Watch, an establishment to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and children. This particular discussion was geared towards working with children and young people and how we need to teach them from the get go, what is acceptable and what is not. Makes sense to me.

Senator Michaela Cash delivered a blistering presentation about the current state of play, and the governments plan to address it. She spoke very well, and is obviously a capable, intelligent and passionate person. But she threw out a harsh verbal attack on a journo who she felt did not give the fact that the Australian Government had not got enough love from the media, when they refused to give boxer and notorious woman basher Floyd Mayweather a visa at the beginning of the year.

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After some civility was re-established, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja also addressed the group and again went through some alarming statistics. Later, I went and thanked her for her work, and held her cupcake as someone came up and requested a photo with her. I silently admired her commitment to baked goods.

And so I took my leave, wandering through the glorious gardens in the sunshine. But I was troubled my friends, deeply so and I have been marinating on it all weekend.

How the hell are we ever going to halt these statistics, let alone reverse them, unless the problem of gender inequality is knocked on the head once and for all. I mean, it starts from the top and trickles down. From our very own Prime Minister, who I am sure since regrets saying this, but guess what? He still said it… (He even used the word FOLLY, which I will overlook in this case.)

‘I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons’

WTF.

You cannot deny that there is an enormous measure of gender inequality in our country, a country that prides itself on its relatively young age and progressive outlook. (Which is another blog post for another day.) The fact that women are not as valued as our male friends is embedded in our history and we have failed generations over time by not making those gaps smaller.

They are even bigger in some cases, with women being paid even less than men that even before. Do the same job and have the same qualifications as Rodger who sits across the partition from you, you should know that statistically speaking, he will be getting paid 18.2% more than you.

Women represent 80% of the Primary Teaching workforce and yet only hold 57% on the leadership positions.

The Coalition Government Ministry has a pathetic 19% female representation while the Shadow Ministry fares slightly better, but still pathetic, at 36%.*

But what does all this mean?

Nothing. It is not illegal. (Although there are some dusty “best practice” documents flying around in a storage facility in Canberra somewhere I suspect.)

The truth is that until both side of politics really sit down and address the issue of gender equality in our country, women will always be seen as not as valuable as men. And as parents, we have a duty to start teaching respect and equality this to our children, starting from now.

Do you think that there is a link between Gender Inequality and Domestic Violence?

Does the issue of gender equality make you more mindful when it comes to raising your own children?