Winner 2015: Kelsey Price, QLD
Author: Kelsey Price
Community, State: Middlemount, Queensland
Age, Grade: 16, Year 11
Bio: Click here
If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would you do to help achieve gender equality? Think locally and nationally!
You would think that a little mining town in the middle of the bush, with a population of less than 2,000 people should have gender equality right? You’re wrong. Living in a rural mining town, men dominate the workforce. When your schooling comes close to an end, you start to think about your future. Wondering where and what job to apply for, and wondering whether all bosses would overlook your gender and consider you for your skills alone. You see a wide range of companies, not only in rural towns but in cities, that are run only by males, and statistics show that the workforce participation rate for women is only 59.0% whereas for men it is 71.1%. Is this because women aren’t getting the chances or is it because they lack the self-confidence to believe they can achieve? Worryingly, maybe it’s because some think that one day they will end up with someone who will look after them.
One of the key things that I fear is affecting some girls today is the idea of the ‘Cinderella complex’. This is when young women think that they don’t need to get a high-paying job because of their fall-back plan. This idea is debilitating for girls, as they stop themselves from setting high expectations for their careers and personal life. They’re assuming that they will have a rich miner to fall back on. Even if that the relationship doesn’t work out, they could just find another. Females shouldn’t rely on the opposite sex to provide for them.
Thankfully, there are people out there that are trying to fix the way people in society view each other. Nothing is going to move forward in the world unless we have gender equality. We are too content with the stereotypical views that we have of men being more successful and powerful than women in the workforce or that women are just meant to be stay at home mums.
Gender equality means females should be able to have the same jobs as males. Gender equality means that females should be entitled to have the same pay as males. Society needs to stop believing in the stereotypical views that they have towards men being better than women in the workforce.
Being a Prime Minister gives you the chance to improve the way society views female’s roles in the workforce. It means that you have the power to give women, of any age, the opportunities to develop their self-confidence so that they can feel like they can take risks in the future in regards to their jobs.
What I would do to help achieve gender equality is encourage females that they can become successful and powerful, just like any male, or even better. Also, I would encourage them to become their own boss. It only takes one person to stand up to make a big difference. We need to develop young girls’ confidence to make them believe that they can be self-reliant and independent, and the only person that they should rely on is themselves.
Our Queensland winner’s ‘Power Trip’ was generously sponsored by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, in partnership with Country to Canberra.