Finalist 2017: Ginger Rankin, TAS
Name: Ginger Rankin
Community, State: Sisters Beach, TAS
School: Hellyer College
Age: Grade 12, Age 18
Check out this amazing top 40 entry!
From primary school to Prime Minister, how can we create strong pathways to power for women?
With expansive land, fresh produce, clean rain, quiet nights and connected communities, the Northwest coast of Tasmania is bucolic. I love where I live and who I live with, even though statistically my home is also the poorest electorate, in the poorest state in the country (Wilson, 2014). Some of my peers part ways with education in year 10. We have the second highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country (Poskitt, 2010), and an economy that needs more jobs. Young women in my area, like women in all regions, deserve to find their strengths and achieve their goals no matter the disadvantage.
If a community like mine was to produce strong pathways, women would be:
– Represented naturally in government and corporations.
– Front runners, including transgender, indigenous and disabled women.
– Having brilliant babies and brilliant careers.
– Not judged for what we wear, but rather our contribution to the world.
– Supported and networking equally with men.
– Perceived as leaders
To achieve this we need to expand in 4 key areas; power, permission, pathways and perpetuity. When women, particularly our youth, feel powerless due to inequality, we should return their selfconfidence by changing society’s patriarchal association with the term ‘will-power’. Women are powerful, strong and game-changes too.
When women are confident, they should learn to not wait for permission to act. This can be learnt through motivation at school, work, media and our government.
When women retrieve their self-confidence and begin to feel motivated, strong pathways should be available for when they’re seeking opportunity. Opportunities such as local councils involving younger women in meetings and running of events, communities recognising all women’s success, schools searching for opportunities for their young girls, employers offering apprenticeships in unconventional area’s, and the government showing leadership by having higher female representatives and encouraging women to take that career path.
When powerful, motivated women are seeking strong pathways, perpetuity helps maintain this so that positive change remains intact to extend it in the future.
Living in a rural area, it is easier to empower and implement strong pathways for women to connect and contribute, from childhood to policy changer, because the communities are small and the relationships already exist. If ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’, then it also takes future communities to empower a woman. When we are working on a local level, it changes everything.
References: Wilson, C. (2014). Poverty is most common in rural Australia. [online] Radio National. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bushtelegraph/rural-poverty/5909108 [Accessed 8 Sep. 2017].
Poskitt, L. (2010). State’s teen pregnancy dilemma. [online] The Examiner. Available at: http://www.examiner.com.au/story/458921/states-teen-pregnancy-dilemma/ [Accessed 8 Sep. 2017].