Wednesday 8 November 2017

People often say change takes time, but change takes action.

That’s the view of Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who spoke at a PwC event in Sydney today, to release Unleashing the Power of Gender Equality.

Commissioner Jenkins said the document outlines the work ahead in three key priority areas across the high impact settings of workplaces, education and sport;

  • Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Women’s Economic Security and Empowerment
  • Diversity in Leadership

“While significant inroads have been made, there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in Australia.

“Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of death and disability for women. The average full-time weekly wage for women is 15.3% less than men and women retire with half the superannuation savings accrued by men.

“While in leadership, only 11 females were among the ASX 200 CEO’s in September last year and in Federal parliament women make up just 32% of the total number of politicians,” she said.

“This is not about women against men. These statistics represent a community wide challenge. And when inequity is made visible most Australians agree that it’s not OK.”

Despite the figures, Commissioner Jenkins said she is optimistic.

“I’m positive about the work ahead because gender equality is beneficial for us all. Even though there is no one silver bullet to accelerate gender equality in Australia, there are increasing opportunities for all of us to play a role and take action.

“Success will be when all women have economic security in retirement, when a young girl is just as likely to become an engineer as a young boy, when stay-at-home dads don’t raise eyebrows and when young women are valued more for their intellect than their looks.

“It will also be when women can end a relationship without fear for their life or economic repercussions, when women in rural, regional and remote areas have equal access to services they need to survive and succeed, and when women can walk down the street without being harassed.

“And in leadership, gender equality will be when women participate in decision making at all levels, when government cabinets reflect the diversity of their constituents and when women’s achievements receive the same recognition as men,” Commissioner Jenkins said.

Download a copy of Unleashing the Power of Gender Equality here