Top 15: Mikayla Gash

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Analyse gender equality in your community. Should more be done to empower women?

Author: Mikayla Gash

Community: Cobram, VIC

Age: 16

“Show us ya tits, love,” I hear someone yell to me as I drive into the drive thru of my local Cobram McDonald’s. Out of the corner of my eye I see a few of the local blokes sitting on the outside seats and resolve to ignore them entirely. Are we really still living in such a sexist community?

It gets me thinking. People say that females don’t get the same opportunities as males and that they are less likely to get jobs, but is that really true? Do females get the same treatment as males? In the small country town of Cobram, Victoria, most organisations have males and females. Do they all get treated the same? And importantly, do women hold as many positions of responsibility as men? No, in most there are males and females working together to make the best of that business.

I start to think. Cobram Woolworths has nine managers in total; three are females. Three out of nine may not be a very big number, but at least there are females in the management team. When you walk into Woolworths the staff is a mixture of males and females. Many of the females are serving customers on the front counters. However, they are still working and are still being treated the same as any male worker on the surface, as far as an onlooker can see.

Hmmm. Cobram is run by the Moira Shire Council. In this Council there are nine councillors. Three of the nine happen to be females and one of those three is the Deputy Mayor. A female may not be the Mayor, but being the Deputy Mayor is pretty good, I guess.

Although it is very clear that males and females can work together to run a business successfully, why is it that most of the managers are male? Or that most of the councillors at the Moira Shire are male? Why are the males taking the higher jobs rather than females? Higher jobs mean more money right? So, this situation is keeping females poorer and if you’re poorer you have fewer choices.

There may be a number of reasons why females aren’t getting the higher jobs. Women get pregnant. And women tend to stay home once they have had children, as well as working part-time when they start school or only working school hours. Men may have the higher paid jobs because there isn’t anything holding them back.

While these reasons are understandable, my little mental investigation did get me thinking about the inequality that still exists between the sexes. While we have come a long way since the sixties and burning our bras, more needs to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities for positions of higher responsibility and higher pay.

“What’s the matter love? Ya frigid?” are the last words I hear as I drive away with my lunch. Yep, still a long way to go.