Does Gender Inequality still Exist in Australian Society?
Gender is complex concept and is mostly confused by the biological sex of a person. Gender is the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that societies accept for a women and men. If we use the phrase of “gender order” it may help us to see how both men and women have been divided into particular roles and expectations, both individually and within a society structurally. (Pease, 2015).
When we refer to Gender Inequality, we are speaking about the unequal rights or restriction to participate in society. The individual and structural restrictions, degrading of women and discrimination of women due to rigid social structures, and a limiting meaning of ‘gender order’, which has historically positioned men as superior to women, is enhancing the men’s violence against women. Gender equality helps to prevent men’s violence against women by realigning the social structures, social norms and behaviors which allow women greater participation, representation in society, and fairer distribution of power, resources and opportunity. While Gender Inequality pervades the World. Gender inequality and other forms of discrimination are concerning and ongoing issues in many modern and well developed countries including Australia. In Australia, gender inequality denotes the inconsistencies between individuals (Men, Women) due to gender based difference. To avoid this concern, The Australian Government has practically implemented various legislations. The various types of legislations are such as Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (It covers the issues of discrimination in Education, Partnership, Marital Status, Sexual harassment and Potential Pregnancy) and Workplace Gender Equality Agency (This is Australian Government Statutory Agency whose aim is to provide and promote equal gender equality in Australian workplaces. This agency is responsible for administrating the Equal Opportunity Act 2012, which aims to ensure Fair Employment Opportunity for all).
Here are some bullets which highlights the Gender Inequality existence in Australia.
1. Gender pay gap.
2. Workplace sexual harassment
3. Underrepresented in leadership roles in politics, media, business and sport sectors
4. Discrimination during pregnancy and parental leave.
5. Women spend more time caring for children than fathers, and more time in unpaid domestic roles than men.
6. Women are over represented as part-time workers in low paid industries.
7. Women have substantially lower superannuation payouts than men.
8. 1 in 3 Australian women aged 15 years and over has experienced physical violence and almost 1 in 5 has experienced sexual assault.
Many factors contribute to the gender huge gap, including women’s higher chances of interrupting their careers for childrearing and employer discrimination. Another important point to that huge gap is job segregation by gender. Although Australian women are more probably than men to go to college or university, but women are much less probably to study (later work in) the experimental science, emerging technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Because of this, there is also highly gendered segregation in job sector: only 8.7 percent of women in Australia work in industry, as compared to 30.9 percent of men. Across countries, including Australia, women are much more highly concentrated in service jobs, which tend to pay less than more technical roles. Australian women report: they’re treated below the belt in all areas of their lives: at home, in school and in well-liked culture, a new survey of 1,750 women aged ten to seventeen – for International Day of the woman – reveals. The majority (98%) say they receive unequal treatment to boys. After difference, women are most concerned with being scrutinized by the way they look rather than appreciated for their skills and talents. The majority (93%) of ladies aged 15-17 said it might be easier to go ahead in life if they weren’t judged on the basis of their look, gender and appearance.
Australia has persistent gender gap between the typical financial gain of earning between men and women. According to the details mentioned in Australian bureau Statistics, the gender remains between the ranges of fifteen to seventeen percent. In the end of 2010, the Australian gender pay gap was 16.9%. Despite of government policies, woman still earn 15.3 percent less than men because of discrimination, child care and industrial segregation. Prime tier feminine managers earn an average of 26.5% but the male managers with nearly $40,000 distinction come from extra remunerations including bonuses etc. Even sectors like pre-school and early childhood education have huge pay gap. As mentioned in WGEA, women in pre-schools sectors get paid 31.5 percent less than men that’s huge difference when we compare with the national gap of 15.3 percent. Wage gap in numerous fields of business area unit shown below in graph.
Why do women earn less?
This may be as a result of 75 percent women are working as half/part time. The driving force for the part time working is childcare. In 2009 report from national center of social and economic modelling proposed that the amount of working hours for a woman, parenting status, education and childcare are the strong reason behind that massive pay gap. The Natsem analysis found that the wage gap of 15.3% was because of Industrial segregation that is about 30% and a lot of concerning about 65% are because of unobserved factors or just being a woman.
Sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins says “Australia still has much things to do if we want to remove gender inequality issues”.
Gender difference helps to form the social surroundings that permits discrimination and violence against women to exist. Social norms, practices associated structures contribute to a surroundings where girls and women are undervalued and discriminated against. By addressing gender difference we are aiming to interrupt and alter the social context that supports and permits violence against women to continue. Most of the Australian young woman and ladies are sexually harassment throughout their lifetime. Most frequently they’re asked sexually suggestive comments/jokes, intrusive questions on personal life or appearance and inappropriate staring or leering. Woman working in rural and remote areas were particularly vulnerable to inequality, Sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins found. One young woman told her how she was asked to wear a bikini while fruit picking to get paid a bonus. Jenkins heard stories of women not being taken seriously or experiencing sexual harassment in these areas in particular. “A lot of the rural women were really facing greater barriers to women in metro areas,”
We have to talk about violence as gendered. For the simple fact that for women, intimate partner violence is the greatest contributor to ill health, death and disability. This is greater than any other contributor to ill health, including obesity, alcohol and illicit drugs. Violence against women and their children is costing Australia $21.6 billion each year. One in three women has experienced physical violence, since the age of 15. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience violence at around twice the rate of non-Indigenous women, and are 34 times more likely to be hospitalized due to family violence related assaults than other Australian women.
One in Two about 50 percent mothers reported experiencing workplace discrimination as a result of their pregnancy, parental leave or return of work while. One in Five about 20 percent of mother indicated that they were made redundant, restructured, dismissed, or that their contracts was not renewed.
First and foremost, in virtually all sectors of the paid workforce, women are underrepresented in leadership positions.
Public sector – At June 2011, women comprised 57.5% of all Commonwealth Public Service employees. As at 30 June 2011, women held 35.3 per cent of Government board appointments, with four Government portfolios meeting the gender balance target.
Federal Parliament – In 2012, women make up 24.7% of elected positions in the House of Representatives and 38.2% of the Senate.
Academia – Women account for over half of all academic staff in Australia, and make up 42% of senior lecturing staff and 27% of staff above senior lecturer.
Law – 61.4% of all law graduates are female. Women hold only about 22% of the most senior positions in law firms (as partners, principals, directors or in sole practice).7 In the Federal Court of Australia, women make up only 16% of the bench.
Sports – Only about 22% of board directors in National Sports Organizations (NSOs) are women, and nearly one in five NSOs have no women directors. Based on the Sydney Scoreboard Global Index for Women in Sport Leadership, shows that women chaired only 7% (5 of 70) of international sport federations in 2016. This is the same as in 2012, so no positive change has been achieved in the past four years. Women occupied 19% (12 of 64) of chief executive positions in 2016, up from 8% in 2012.
The statistics in corporate Australia are even more concerning and challenging. The EOWA Australian Census of Women in Leadership shows that only 8.4% of Board Directorships are held by women. Further, 54% of ASX200 companies had no women Board Directors in 2010 – a number which has steadily increased from 49.7% since 2004. Alarmingly, the number of women board directors has increased only 0.2% since 2002. What we are seeing is a gender discrepancy between general participation and leadership. In Tasmania for example, women make up 70 percent of the education sector but hold 37 percent of management positions. The lack of females attaining leadership roles explains in part the gender wage gap.
The more details of issues for the gender equality from human rights acts are displayed below in the screenshot gathered from human rights.
The Commission helps individuals resolve complaints of unfair treatment under the Sex and Discrimination Act, as well as discrimination on the basis of sex, married or relationship status, the physiological condition and the potential pregnancy. The Act additionally protects employees with family responsibilities and makes black mailing or sexual harassment against the law. We should also play a vital role showing equality for the rights of woman to promote Noble mankind.
1. Sex Discrimination Act 1984
2. Workplace Gender Equality Agency
3. Australian Gender Pay Gap
4. Gender Equity – Human rights
5. EOWA Women in Leadership Census
6. The Dream Gap’s Report
7. What is Gender Inequality?
What is Gender Equality?
8. Australian report finds disturbing evidence of gender inequality