Winner 2017: Shanae Klaas, NT

Home»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.