JULIE Bishop declared on national media on Thursday morning that no country is yet to achieve complete gender equality.
As Australia’s first female foreign minister, we’re doing better than many other countries. We were the second country in the world to allow women the right to vote in 1902 – still nearly a decade behind our eastern cousins in New Zealand.
We’ve also had a female in the country’s top job when Julia Gillard became the first, and to date, only woman to hold the positions of deputy prime minister, prime minister and leader of a major party in Australia in 2010.
Women at least are now getting the top jobs in Australia. Not based on their sex, but based on their merit.
So comparatively against the rest of the world, we’re not doing too badly. We have made headway, but we do still have a long way to go.
Women in Australia working full-time still earn $253.70 less per week than men, on average. Only 38.4 per cent of all managers are women.
Women are out there, getting the training, getting the education, getting the experience and getting the runs on the board that will get them to where they want to be.
A total of 58.7 per cent of all graduates from undergraduate degrees in Australia are women. So it’s interesting that women still face such a pay disparity when it comes to employment.
And it doesn’t end there. Women also face a different set of rules when it comes to presentation. Sadly, often what a woman wears eclipses the job that they do when it comes to making headlines.
Look at Julie Bishop. This week she made the news for the jewellery she chooses to wear – at the very time she fronts the United Nations General Assembly in New York on everything from conflict diamonds to sea border agreements with Timor.
Surely serving the people of Australia outweighs the importance of what she wears?
Karl Stefanovic’s 2014 sexism experiment when he wore the same suit everyday on Channel Nine's Today program with no one even noticing only backs this up.
Women come in all shapes and sizes. Mothers, farmers, council workers, mechanics, firefighters, nurses, doctors and newspaper editors. Success isn’t limited to the few women to have cracked through the elusive glass ceiling. Let’s celebrate them all, and help Australia lead the way.
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