Written by Inara Hossain
The conclusion of 2018 not only brought the end of the year but also the Australian Human Rights Commission Report for Gender Equality. The results shocked me, and I am sure they will shock you too, therefore I composed this article in the hopes of educating everyone at Loreto on the facts that the report provided.
To begin with, Australia was ranked 35th in the world for our gender equality. This was a drastic drop from 2006 when we were 15th, and it looks like this decreasing trend will continue next year. Our gender pay gap is a topic that is constantly discussed and criticized but there are no evident results that suggest the gap will decrease, and for the past two decades the gap has fluctuated between 15-19%. The gap is currently at 15.3% and women go home on average with $251.20 less than their male counterparts when performing the exact same job. Additionally, on average women have to work an extra fifty-six days a year to even earn the same as man. Not only that, but women take up about 47% of all Australian workers and we are still not getting equal pay.
To continue with the shocking facts, I have found that; women spend twice as many hours every day in unpaid work compared to men, the female-dominated industries such as aged and child care, health and community service are dramatically undervalued, and we rank only 48th in the world in terms of female political empowerment.
Lastly, one in two women have experienced sexual harassment during their lifetime compared to men where one in four have experienced it. One in three women have been physically or sexually harassed since the age of fifteen and one in five women have experienced violence from their partner.
These absolutely confronting and shocking facts the report has revealed expose that gender equality has not been achieved in Australia and it does not look like it will be any time soon. To achieve gender equality in Australia, everyone must do anything they can to raise awareness; this can be done by signing petitions, telling friends and family about this prominent issue, and always knowing that all women need is one person to have the courage and strength to make an impactful action which will induce a reaction that will hopefully garner equality.