Finalist 2016: Isobel Davis, VIC

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Name: Isobel Davis

Community, State: Balmoral, VIC

School: Balmoral Community College 

Age: 17, Grade 11

Why is gender equality important to you and your community?

The word community has various different dictionary definitions, yet the one I found most profound was “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”

Personally my community is not reserved to my small township of Balmoral, nor to my country, yet my community goes far beyond that due to my involvement and passion for the Agricultural industry, my small community depends on farming.

I believe a community should evoke a sense of safety and love and it should also exhibit equality. All types of equality or lack-of are important in our modern world and have been present in society for many years. One spectrum of equality that is immensely important to myself not only as a female but also as an aspiring influential leader in Agriculture, is gender equality.

My community and the survival of not only our town but our entire country has depended on the Agricultural industry and the people involved in it, however women only make up 32.0% of the workforce in Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry Industries (according to data found by the ABS (2015), Labour Force, Australia, and complied by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency). This means that women hold greatly less power in this area compared to men yet we have so much to offer.

There is a negative stereotype surrounding the Agriculture industry and specifically farming as a career that is very gender specific. A woman’s role has always been restricted to the “farmer’s wife” act, yet women are powerful, strong and knowledgeable and we posses countless great skills to bring to the table as farmers. Unfortunately I believe this stereotype has deterred young girls and women from pursuing such a rewarding lifestyle and career in farming.

Gender equality is important to my community and myself because our future survival depends on it. I hope to inspire young girls and women to join my community and see that being involved in the Agricultural industry is not just a job but a rewarding and empowering lifestyle where women can be treated equally and respectfully because:

“…everyday, three times a day, you need a farmer”-Brenda Schoepp,

 And I believe female farmers make the very best farmers!