Why don’t we yet have true equality of the sexes in Australia?
It is now forty years since Prime Minister Gough Whitlam put gender equality on the national agenda of this country. You would think that would be time enough to achieve what are, after all, pretty simple and – you’d think – pretty uncontroversial objectives for women: financial independence, ability to control fertility and freedom from violence.
Sadly, we are still a long way from achieving these simple goals.
• Women work less, earn less and retire with less than men. A 25 year-old female postgraduate entering the workforce today will earn $1.3 million less over her lifetime than the man who sat beside her in class.
• Abortion is still illegal in some Australian states, and not readily available outside major cities in others; the abortion pill RU486 is still not easily available
• Violence against women is extensive and, it seems, increasing.
Why is this?
Anne Summers argues in her important new book that it is the result of the misogyny factor, the belief which is, sadly, very widespread still in Australia, that women do not have a fundamental right to be part of society beyond the home.
Despite Australia having a female Prime Minister and a female Governor-General, misogyny and its expression – sexism – is rampant and is evident in the lack of respect shown to the women in these top jobs.
The Misogyny Factor explains how women have been excluded from full and equal participation in Australian economic and public life. Despite the promise of equality, Australian women are still not there. Not by a long way.
We have made a lot of progress but we have not yet succeeded.
What will success look like?
The Equality Project will have succeeded, argues Summers, when women are included in all aspects of Australian life, when they are treated equally and when they are accorded respect.
Simple. Easy. Inclusion, equality, respect.
The Misogyny Factor
9781742241456 | Jun 2013 | NewSouth | Digital (EPUB) |
9781742233840 | Jun 2013 | NewSouth | Paperback | 192pp | 210x135mm |