Winner 2017: Shanae Klaas, NT
Name: Shanae Klaas
Community, State: Katherine, NT
School: Katherine High School
Age, Grade: Year 11 and 16 years old
Bio: Click here
From primary school to Prime Minister, how can we create strong pathways to power for women?
How can we create strong pathways to power for women? As generations have passed, females have struggled throughout history, from the first gender equality movement in the twentieth century, to now. Although we have progressed greatly over the years in making men and women more equal, we still haven’t reached the aspirations and goals that many females, including myself, hope to achieve. To be able to create strong pathways to power for women is one of the many issues that needs to be addressed.
In today’s society, there are many platforms and resources available to us that can help to create strong pathways for women. We have access to emancipating communications such as social media and worldwide broadcasting. We have the power to better education than that of many before us, and the ability to make a change. We need not just raise the awareness of a single person, but many, as an idea can change the world. Opportunities, such as the opportunity that I have now, need to be made abundant to young women all over the world, to help them grow as a person and succeed in the future.
Being female, I have experienced the inequality and little diversity in areas such as education and opportunities. As for employment and pathways, stereotypically women are classified as domestic workers and/or lower income earners. Some examples include cleaning, hairdressing, office work and childcare. On the other hand men are classed as the “bread-‐winners” who work in higher paid positions such as medicine, engineering, construction and mechanics, just to name a few. Why is it that women are expected to clean, cook and care for children? Why can’t women become engineers or mechanics or even the prime minister?
As a young woman aspiring to become an engineer, I will fight for women’s equality and diversity in education and I will encourage and support other young women to chase their dreams even if they are told they will not succeed.
As many generations before us, who have fought for equal power and rights, we have developed into more resilient, persistent, independent and empowered women. If this movement is to persist, I would like to see the government present new prospects to our future generation of women including leadership conferences, better access to our countries prominent leaders, affordable university and a greater focus on disadvantaged young women living in rural and remote Australia.