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08 Mar 2016
This week, we were fortunate to have Ms Xanthe Emery a Senior Solicitor from the Immigration Advise and Rights Centre as our guest speaker at our International Women’s Day Assembly. She spoke to the International Women’s Day theme for 2016, 'Pledge for Parity', talking about her work with migrant and refugee women to help them achieve basic rights and economic independence in Australia.
Year 11 Gender Equity Group students, Lucia Dominguez and Hannah Kingsmill opened the Assembly, explaining the meaning and context of 'parity' for women in the workforce in Australia and abroad.
"In 2014 The World Economic Forum predicted that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity or equality of income for men and women working in the same occupations! Now, if you think this is a problem, you may want to take a look at the statistics that were revised and published last year, stating that it would be in the year 2133 that the gender pay gap would entirely close. The difference between these statistics is an average human lifetime, and this Gender pay gap has gotten worse in only one year, when you would expect it to be getting better! These statistics suggest that if we continue at the rate were going, every single person in this room will be dead before we achieve total pay equality. Furthermore, the average pay gap between men and women working full time is 17.3%, as women are often in less senior positions, because even though they are just as well educated and qualified as men, they can be disadvantaged by a working culture where the 'breaks' women take to care for family and ageing parents mean they won't get promoted as quickly as their male counterparts. Women therefore are lower paid and earn less in their working lifetime, or jobs traditionally classed as 'female' generally are lower paying than 'male' occupations, and currently in Australia there are fewer companies run by women than by men named ‘Peter’!"
Dr Nicole Archard closed the Assembly with a rousing call for action. She explained that just as women have struggled in the past to enable us to gain the opportunities we have today, we should not remain complacent but should take up the challenge to maintain and improve gender equity for the benefit of both men and women. Research demonstrates that greater equity for women creates a better world for everyone.
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