Finalist 2017: Maia Trewartha

Home»Finalist 2017: Maia Trewartha

Name: Maia Trewartha

Community, State: Port Lincoln, SA 

School: St. Josephs School 

Age: Year 11, 16 years old

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From primary school to Prime Minister, how can we create strong pathways to power for women?

In order to heighten the empowerment of women in Australia, and all over the world the division of “gender” must be forgotten. A person cannot, and should not, be defined by the chromosomes they were born with. A classroom should not separate their students by “girls vs boys”. We must rise above the barriers, formed from our own inhibitions and realise that the worth of a person should be judged, not on one’s demographic, but on the strength of their character, the merit of their opinions and the passion fuelling their beliefs.

Once the labels defining someone are forgotten they are given the power to choose their own definition. When a little girl stops being forced into “the girls team” and starts being evaluated on what she can do, she will aspire to train harder. When a CEO is choosing who to promote and they decide to judge their employees on who does  the best work instead of automatically choosing the same people they always do, they will benefit. When a nation rewards skill and ambition without bias, then it’s citizens will hold themselves to a higher standard.

Telling someone they will lose from the starting line ensures only a select few finish the race. The key to woman rising to power is to stop seeing people as men and women, and just as people.

If we want to create stronger pathways for women we must paint over the lines on the road and walk the same path. Division creates imbalance which leads to discrimination.

If our past has taught us anything, we should know that separate is never equal.  We do not need to build new pathways for women, there are already out there.

What we need to do is open them to all people without discrimination and exclusion. Put aside our pre-decided notions of gender that have no place in the modern world.

I ask that we no longer tell girls that they can do everything a man can do and instead tell them they can do anything they dream of.

A man is not the comparison all women should be striving to reach. Being better than boys is not the limit we should be satisfied with.

A woman will succeed not by being better than him, but by being her best self.

It is time for the line between genders to be forgotten.

It is time for women to rise above.