‘Digital literacy; a powerful tool for the advancement and empowerment of women’

Anna attended the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women 62 (CSW62) in 2018. She is currently studying a Masters of International Business at RMIT University and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce. As well as this she is currently working as a data analyst at the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Abstract

The significance of incorporating women into the workforce has never been more apparent. Not only in terms of its impact on the productivity of an economy but equally the social impact it has on a country. Previous generations of women have fought hard to place the women of today in such a position. As boldly stated by Hausmann, Tyson and Zahidi (2008), ‘a nation’s competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilises its female talent’. In developed nations, women have the opportunity to gain an education, work full-time and even contribute to the family dynamic. Yet still, women fall behind in key statistics such as participation rates and workforce utilisation rates. 

Undertaking analysis of key Australian government reports and statistical findings, this paper seeks to identify the primary areas in which women are falling behind in relation to utilisation and participation in the workforce. These findings will underpin recommendations for policy changes and harmonisation in digital literacy as one targeted solution in tackling lower participation and inclusion of women.

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“My issues would be somebody’s dinner time conversation”: The social barriers women face to access sexual and reproductive health services in rural and regional Australia

Justine attended the United Nations' Commission of the Status of Women 62 (CSW62) in 2018 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney. She is also the current editor of Australia’s most famous student newspaper, Honi Soit, and have led groundbreaking investigations into campus sexual assault that have contributed to institutional change.

Introduction

This paper argues that Australia’s existing policy framework for addressing adolescent access to sexual health services attempts to mitigate the geographical and practical barriers for rural and regional young women, but fails to address the social and cultural barriers they face.

The first part of this paper will canvass the social barriers for women to access sexual health services in regional Australia and examine the effectiveness of existing policies to address these barriers. The second part of this paper recommends the adoption of government policies that encourage the provision of sexual health services within public high schools. 

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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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