Runner-up 2015: Natarlyia Mitchell, TAS

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Author: Natarlyia Mitchell

Community, State: Burnie, Tasmania 

Age, Grade: 16, Grade 10

If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would you do to help achieve gender equality? Think locally and nationally!

If I were Prime Minister for a day, what would I do to help achieve gender equality? For one, what is gender equality? Gender equality is creating equal rights for both males and females. It does not stand to create a stigma that females require more rights than a male, nor does it mean that females are disadvantaged compared to the rights of a male. Gender equality means an equal playing field. Plain and simple.

After asking numerous people what their first thought was when hearing the words ‘gender equality’, many of them provided the same sorts of answers; females being more or less discriminated against and/or looked down on. I took these opinions into account and put together the ways of which I would emphasise to help change gender equality in our Australian society.

For one, we should be empowering young females and females in general by focussing on literal gender equality. Not having more rights for males or females. The fact of the matter is that we are indeed in the 21st century and still teaching our young female leaders that they are severely discriminated against as they would’ve been 50 years ago is a sure way to drag out the equality gap again. Everyday more and more people are getting on board with making Australian society a more gender equal place.

If I were Prime Minister for a day, I would create a campaign that would be showcased in not only large cities but rural towns too. It would reiterate the importance of compassion and inclusion. Gender equality starts at home. The campaign poster would read something along the lines of “Gender equality – empowering everyone to be equal”. It would be shown in large cities for that is where a lot of large corporations have their offices and buildings. Encouraging pay equality is a step closer to an equal society. The ideas behind also showing it in smaller rural towns and everywhere in between would be to emphasise the inclusion of those who do not live in the big cities and who also face their own equality issues, be it assault of career paths.

For women, every step closer to a gender equal society in Australia is something great. Because women make up 50.2% of the Australian population, it is important that they are treated just as equally. Right now, the average full-time weekly wage is 18.2% less than that of a male. To make the same amount of money as a male does in a year, a female would have to work an extra 66 full-time days.

For these are only scraping the surface of our current gender equality statistics, it is important that we focus on the positive things that are to come in the future. Our future female leaders, the ones who will be helping to change gender equality in Australia, should be empowered in the right way. Gender equality means equality for all females and males across Australia.