Winner 2017: Georgia Stonehouse, TAS
Name: Georgia Stonehouse
Community, State: Wynyard, TAS
School: Wynyard High School
Age, Grade: Grade 10, 16 years old
Bio: Click here
From primary school to Prime Minister, how can we create strong pathways to power for women?
In our society, stereotypes still exist around the belief that men are more dominant and powerful than women, thus leading to the assumption that they are the better leaders. Throughout history men have had immense power over females. Women have been fighting for their rights and only now are they starting to gain power. However, there are still many restrictions that are applied based on gender.
Sport is an example of something that in the past was heavily dominated by males, but now however, more women play team sports and are becoming involved and it is being more widely televised. Successful women become role models and show young girls that anything is possible despite the barriers that they face. If we know that it’s possible to break through the barriers, then we know that it is possible for women to gain powerful roles in our society. I believe that to create pathways for this to happen, we need to smash through the gender “norms,” to prove that women can reach success just as easily as men.
I believe that early intervention is needed in children’s lives, as this is when people are most easily influenced. A supportive family environment, strong role models and an education are all important aspects of shaping strong young women. We, as people, are most influenced by not only what those around us believe, but the things we hear on television, radio, what we read and also what we witness as our brains are developing. By having strong women as role models in our society, it greatly influences how young people perceive women in power and normalises the idea of women holding leadership roles. To create the pathways for women to follow, there needs to be more resources allocated to this; to create more opportunities for women to gain a powerful role. Regional/rural areas such as where I live, are especially lacking in programs and pathways for women. Events such as speakers and workshops led by women need to be brought into schools and communities to show women how powerful we can become. Women have exactly the same capabilities as men when it comes to leadership and I believe that women are not getting enough encouragement to take opportunities and it is time to change this and show young women that we can do this! “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” – John E.Lewis