Editorial: Need to keep bridging the gender equality gap

The modern day woman has a lot to be thankful for, however, there is still plenty more to be done in the fight for gender equality.

Wednesday was International Women’s Day (IWD), a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 

And there is plenty to celebrate in our own backyard. 

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Gunnedah Shire Council community and social planner Debra Hilton was awarded a Minister’s Award for Women in Local Government.

Described by her peers as a “tireless and humble, community-minded hard worker”, Debra is a role model for not only women but for her community and has been rightly awarded for her efforts.

A fierce anti-domestic violence campaigner, Debra organised two major projects to highlight violence against women in the community.

Her campaigns became a voice for the often unheard.

The NVI marked International Women’s Day by asking prominent men in the community to share their sentiments on the women in their lives.

Women were described as the “backbone” and the “strengths” in their personal lives and careers. A far cry from days gone by.

We also asked local women on their thoughts on gender equality in the workplace.

Senior Constable Amber Selvage said the police force, a generally male-dominated field, is starting to see a bridge in the gender equality gap, with the Gunnedah Police Station well represented by female officers.

There are so many achievements made by women in our community, looking to better our community. 

International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate this, but also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186. 

This is too long to wait. 

While local women are forging ahead in bridging that gap through their various achievements, other communities aren’t as fortunate. 

Education is key when it comes to tackling gender parity – and that includes educating men and women. 

Our local women should be applauded for forging ahead in their chosen paths in the face of gender stereotypes.

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