Finalist 2016: Caitlin Pink, SA

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Name: Caitlin Pink

Community, State: Clare, SA

School: Clare High School

Age: 16, Grade 11

Why is gender equality important to you and your community?

Everywhere we go there are men, and there are women. All through our schooling we’re taught to share, and that you can be anyone you want, no matter who you are, we are equals. This however, seems to change when we enter the aduIt world. Suddenly we’re told as girls we may be faced with gender inequality.

My name is Caitlin Pink. I live in Clare a rural town, 2 hours from Adelaide. Where I live community is important and within my community there are many powerful people, both men and women. No man is better than any woman and everyone has equal opportunities. However, this doesn’t mean gender equality isn’t important to me and my community.

Traditionally there are positions that would be held only by men, for example a school principal. At my school our current principal is a woman and in the last year that she has held this position she has created great change within our school and the community. Being a woman in years gone by she wouldn’t have acquired this position because of her gender but not now. She is well respected and completely deserving of her position even though she’s not a man. It’s a woman like this that inspires younger women to go for those higher ranking jobs because their gender shouldn’t and doesn’t hold them back in a community like ours.

As a year 11 I’m not far away from entering the adult world myself. This makes this issue very relevant to me. I don’t want to be held back because of my gender but I also don’t want to just be handed a job because of it either. If I want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a politician, I can. I can because I’m intelligent and driven and a woman. Not because a “woman quota” needs to be reached. Every person has equal opportunities from the beginning and powerful women and men get jobs because they deserve them. I want to be one of those people.

Gender inequality is something we can change however this needs to be done the right way. A woman needs to earn her role and the respect she deserves in her position and this won’t happen if she’s discriminated against because of her gender but it also won’t if everything’s handed to her because of her gender. Women need to instigate change by leading the way and showing that they are equal.