During this years International Day of the Girl, Plan International Australia released a report called The Dream Gap which was about how Australian girls view their place in the world.
What was astounding was, despite the relative youth of some of the respondents, they had a very cleared eyed view of the issues of equality and opportunity.
The report, based on a survey of young women conducted by Essential Research, shows 98 per cent of Australian girls say they do not receive equal treatment to boys.
Sadly while many girls aspire to succeed in their careers and personal lives and to be leaders in the world, those lofty ambitions fade as they become adults in the face of roadblocks, discouragement and discrimination.
It is such a waste of wonderful talent that our nation needs.
The report demonstrates how much further we have to go before true equality is achieved. We may believe it’s a moral absolute, a value we all agree upon but clearly the reality paints a far less glossy picture. As the report states:
“Globally the situation is dire: girls and young women are forced out of equal opportunities before their adult lives have even begun, with females making up 70 per cent of out-of-school youth and 82 million girls each year in developing countries married before their 18th birthday. Until girls are valued the same as boys the dream gap will remain for girls no matter where they’re born.”
Claire Moore is a Labor Senator for Queensland and Shadow Minister for International Development and The Pacific.
This post is an edited text from Claire’s weekly newsletter dated 13 October 2017. For more information about Claire and her work, visit www.clairemoore.net