Gender equality in councils? Think again: Dolly Jensen
An opinion piece by Gympie Regional councillor Dolly Jensen
Quote: Here’s to strong women; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
As International Women’s Day gets closer, I look back with a small smile of satisfaction when I see how far we have come. But then, with a little trepidation, I look ahead and see how far we still have to go.
We’re getting there, slowly. Really slowly.
Just recently, I signed up for a nine month course through LGAQ called “Women Leading in Local Government” so if you were wondering how we of the fairer sex are going in local politics, this pretty much says it all. But at least my welcoming letter was signed by a bloke called Gary.
If you think there’s gender equality in local government, think again. It is a male dominated sector, but we women are slipping in there from time to time to keep them Frank (pardon the pun).
In a past life, I advocated for the gender pay gap in the banking sector. For a decade I fought and kept putting it on the table only to see it fall through the cracks again and again.
It seems to be rampant with no remedy in sight.
The Australian Government even has an agency called the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
It quotes “Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data both show a gender pay gap favouring full-time working men over full-time working women in every industry and occupational category in Australia.”
So here we are, in 2021. We’re celebrating women so that’s a good start. I consider myself lucky to have been raised by wonderful parents and strong women.
My mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother. They stood their ground in an era where there was little to no support. I’ll be forever grateful to them for instilling in me their strength, their hope and their courage. To all the women out there, I salute you. You’re doing a great job.