Empowering Indigenous females in rural Australia through technology in the classroom

Kiera attended the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women in 2018. She is studying a Bachelor of Arts and Economics at the University of Sydney and has had the opportunity to study abroad in India, France, Vietnam and Denmark.

Abstract

Rural Indigenous females are amongst the most disadvantaged populations in Australia. 

Despite the progress made through the Australian Government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ campaign, not all goals have been met, and statistics show that Indigenous Australians continue to achieve lower education attainment and employment. 

There is a large scope to improve the current situation of Indigenous females in rural Australia, who face intersectional disadvantage to increase education, employment and empowerment. Education and digital literacy, supported by communications technologies, is widely acknowledged as an effective means of empowerment. 

Increasing frequency and scope of technology in the classroom in rural Australia, supported by adequate services and infrastructure, and substantial input from Indigenous communities provides a path to empowering Indigenous females. 

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Gender stereotyping in the media: contributing to gender inequality

Rebekah attended the United Nation's Commission on the Status of the Women (CSW62) in 2018. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Law at Central Queensland University (CQU).

Abstract

The portrayal of women is paramount to influencing cultural attitudes and educating the generations towards a gender equal future. As we are living in a digital age, the media has the potential and power to influence a culture which empowers and celebrates women. 

The current portrayal of women in the media falls short of Australia’s commitment towards encouraging women into leadership and influence in the country. The media is too often reinforcing gender stereotypes and sexualized images of women. A disappointing, yet prime example can be seen from the frequent sexist remarks of Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The media often focussed on her looks, sexual attractiveness and family situation in conjunction with her political movements (Trimble, 2018). The portrayal of women needs to be altered in a way that prevents exploitation and the degradation of women.  Rather than reinforcing gender stereotypes, the media ought to be utilized as an outreach platform to inspire and encourage women.

The current advertising system is too lenient and lacks any form of accountability. A strategic move is for Australia to revolutionize the standards of advertising involving women.  

This paper discusses the issues associated with the media’s exploitation and degradation of women, thereby affecting women’s choices, aspirations and advancement in Australia. This paper recommends creating firm monitoring systems and punitive actions to achieve unity and equality.

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Achieving SDG 5: Empowering Women for a Sustainable Future in the Textiles Industry

By Chau Nguyen

Chau represented Swinburne University of Technology at the ECOSOC High-level Political Forum in New York.

Abstract

Women are integral to the economic, social and environmental progress of developing countries and the future of the world. However many face huge disadvantages due to gender inequality and social marginalisation. Nowhere are these problems more readily apparent than in the textiles industry.

Women in textiles manufacturing are excluded from many opportunities which could potentially improve their well-being and livelihoods. Gender equality is a United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and in this paper I will discuss why empowering these women will not only benefit their livelihoods but also promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion industry.

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Minimising unconscious bias in the workplace: strategies for tackling gender stereotypes and improving workplace productivity

By Laura Wood

Laura represented Monash University at the 2016 OECD Forum in Paris.  

Abstract

Gender stereotypes permeate all aspects of social life, including that relating to the paid workforce.  The persistence of gender stereotypes are a powerful factor in the perpetuation of gender inequality and hinder individuals’ ability to achieve potential by restricting choices and opportunities.  This paper aims to highlight the impacts of gender stereotypes on women’s participation in the paid workforce and contribute to the exposure of the link between gender stereotypes and the perpetuation of gender inequality.  Whilst there is mainstream recognition of interactions between gender equality and female participation in the paid workforce, there is lack of acknowledgement and action within policy and programmatic activity relating to the dismantling of gender stereotypes as a strategy to support the promotion of gender equality and economic growth.  The paper will highlight strategies for minimising the effects of unconscious bias in recruitment in the workplace as an intervention for challenging gender stereotypes in support of gender equality and smart economics.  This paper focuses on ‘gender’ in unconscious bias, however unconscious bias also relates to race, ethnicity, age and other identity characteristics.  The paper’s recommendations can be adopted in both the public and the private sector- interventions which fall out of the higher-level strategies may vary depending on sector and context.

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