Friday, 4 January 2013

Discrimination hurts....Stand up for equality

Two articles relating to gender inequality and a subsequent link caught my eye today.  They got me thinking that we - as women  - get so busy in our own world of work, friends, relationships and family chores/commitments that we don't recognise that gender discrimination is right here in our faces everyday...still.

The first article came to me on my facebook page... an article written by Nick Bryant of BBC News about the year just past - "Australia:  Year of the Women".  Its a fascinating article and well worth the read.  I received it through the Sack Alan Jones website people.  The article provides an overseas journalist's view of the extraordinary attacks the media plus the opposition made on Prime Minister Julia Gillard last year and the social media backlash that resulted from it.  When read in this context it is even more extraordinary that we, as thinking women and men in Australia, allowed this behaviour to continue with even less outrage from the public.  Here's the link to the article  BBC News - Australia-Year of the Women

Within the BBC piece there is a link to a lecture/speech made by Anne Summers - a leading women's rights professional and once the head of the Office of the Status of Women - at the University of Newcastle.  The lecture is entitled Her Rights at Work: The Political Persecution of Australia's First Female Prime Minister.   Have a read of this, it is shocking, confronting and completely hair raising that we as a nation - or women as a group - allowed it to happen to the extent that it did last year.  Where was the outrage - our outrage - when the media were apparently unencumbered in their personal attacks?  It was and is wrong no matter what your political persuasion may be.

The other article was in today's Sydney Morning Herald entitled "Gender Pay Gap Doubles in a Year".  It seems that the gender gap between male and female graduate starting salaries is not only still evident but is growing.  When there is such focus on women in management and growing women on boards how can this still be happening in the 21st century?  Here's the link to the article Gender Pay Gap Doubles in a Year 

I remember the active feminism of the sixties and seventies and then the "women can have it all" publicity of the nineties.  We women have come a long way.  Many of us don't know or think about the fact that women have only had the vote for just slightly over 100 years. Continuing violence to women like we witnessed in Melbourne and, just recently, in India;  gender inequality in our own society and the media's propensity to inflame the issue is something - I believe - we should continue to speak out against loudly.  In Anne Summers article she mentions the site against racism and discrimination called - IT STOPS WITH ME.  It's something we can all do ...Just not allow it at our personal and professional levels.  I'm going to - today - make a commitment to be mindful and speak up about what has been achieved and mindful and speak up about respect for others.

1 comment:

  1. From the pay gap article you linked:

    An associate professor in management at Monash University, Anne Bardoel, said graduates should be recognised for their work rather than gender. ''If somebody is actually doing the work, whether they're male or female, they should be getting the same pay,'' she said.

    Professor Bardoel said the findings were surprising given that female students often outperformed their male peers.
    Every time I think women have achieved parity, something like this shows up. We have shock-jock Howard Stern here as well as a long list I won't name of chauvinistic "journalists".

    Don't forget the old saying from Charlotte Whitton:

    “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”