I grew up in a family of two girls and two boys, mum and dad never treated us any differently. There was pressure on me to do well at school and to succeed, but this pressure was there for my brothers as well. My Dad often tells people he’s proud of his daughters’ careers and equality has always been an important value in my family.
Gender equality to me just seems like common sense. It’s also important to me to speak out about this, as a Muslim women who feels empowered by Islam. Despite what you hear in the media about Islam, I am married and I have chosen to keep my own name. I can choose to have children, to work, to have a career, to have property – just as any woman in Australia can. Sadly, there are negative perceptions of women being oppressed in Islam through the media. While there are some countries and cultures that do oppress women, this has not been my experience and I don’t see this in our community in Gippsland.
I also work with young people and I think it’s becoming more common and more acceptable for everyone to be feminists, to expect equality. This is a good change and maybe soon everyone will see equality as common sense. In our broader society there are still areas we need to improve – women are still paid less than men, and there are still far fewer women CEOs, that’s not fair. Women can run the world and have shown they can run the world but they don’t get the opportunity.
Equity is such an important part of achieving gender equality. When you have two people startingin different positions and you want them to end up in the same place, you may have to help one person little more. This is the same for women and men. Both deserve equality but we’re starting from different positions. We have to keep equity in mind as we continue to work for gender equality.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Thank you to our guest bloggers and community advocates for taking part in our Gender Equality Matters 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign. If you wold like to be involved, or tell your story, please contact us.