We have much to celebrate today, however we still have a way to go to achieve gender equality.
There are many barriers to gender equality.
· Australian women are over-represented as part-time workers in low-paid industries and in insecure work and continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles in the private and public sectors.
· A quarter of women were sexually harassed in the workplace between 2007 and 2012. The harasser was most likely to be a co-worker (52 per cent) and the most common forms of sexual harassment included sexually suggestive comments/jokes (55 per cent), intrusive questions about private life or appearance (50 per cent) and inappropriate staring or leering (31 per cent).
· In 2014, one in two (49 per cent) mothers reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace at some point during pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work, and one in five (18 per cent) mothers indicated that they were made redundant, restructured, dismissed, or that their contract was not renewed because of their pregnancy, when they requested or took parental leave, or when they returned to work.
· Mothers spend twice as many hours (8 hours and 33 minutes) each week looking after children under 15, compared to fathers (3 hours and 55 minutes).
· In 2009-2010, average superannuation payouts for women were just over half (57%) those of men. Average retirement payouts in 2009-10 were of the order of $198,000 for men and only $112,600 for women. As a result, women are more likely to experience poverty in their retirement years and be far more reliant on the Age Pension.
· One in three Australian women aged 15 years and over has experienced physical violence and nearly one in five has experienced sexual assault. It is estimated that violence against women and children will cost the Australian economy $15.6 billion per year by 2021-2022 unless decisive action is taken to prevent it.
· More than smoking or obesity, domestic and family violence is the leading preventable cause of death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 years.
· Did you know Australian women have to work an extra 66 days a year to earn the same pay as men for doing the same work?
**Information from Australian Human Rights Commission.**
However, worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. And we have much to celebrate today! I’m so proud of all the girls, teachers, mums, sisters, grandmothers and aunties at GDANCE! You are strong women and you empower your children by teaching them they can achieve their dreams. Thank you for helping us to achieve gender equality in our dance community.
So how do we want to celebrate International Women's Day 2016?
Everyone - men and women - can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly - whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.
What can you do to take action to put gender on the agenda this International Women's Day and beyond?
Make a Pledge For Parity
Visit this PAGE to make your pledge.
GDANCE Academy will always be a place where our girls are taught (and shown) that being a leader is a wonderful thing. That chasing your dreams is essential! That boys should feature just as prominently in the arts and we should be helping to encourage and support them. That we are not in competition with our friends and sisters, instead we should be helping them and cheering them on as they pursue their goals. We support our teachers through family planning and parenthood, working with them to help keep them in the workforce.
Let’s celebrate women today and commit to striving for a future where there truly is gender equality for our children. Thank you for supporting GDANCE and our commitment.
Miss Jo xx