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Gender inequality affects everyone

Everyone is affected by gender inequality. Gender roles and stereotypes impact Victorians throughout their lives.

Gender inequality affects everyone, including men. Stereotypes or ‘rules’ about how women and men, girls and boys should be begin in childhood and follow us through to adulthood.

Not everyone experiences inequality the same way. The situation is worse, and often different, for people who face more than one type of discrimination.

This page lists some facts about gender inequality in Victoria and how it affects children, young people, adults, and other groups in society.

Children

  • Gender stereotypes affect children's sense of self from a young age.
  • Boys receive 8 times more attention in the classroom than girls.
  • Girls receive 11% less pocket money than boys.
  • Children classify jobs and activities as specific to boys or girls.

Young people

  • Gender stereotypes affect behaviour, study choices, ambitions and attitudes about relationships.
  • Girls are less likely to take part in organised sport.
  • Girls are less likely to do advanced maths subjects in their final years of school.
  • 1 in 3 Australian women over 15 has experienced physical violence.

Adults

  • Victorian women earn 87.6 cents to every dollar earned by men.
  • Although more women than men complete tertiary education, their graduate salaries are lower.
  • 1 in every 2 mothers experiences discrimination during pregnancy, on parental leave or when returning to work.
  • Victorian women do nearly twice as much unpaid work as men.

Older people

  • Women retire with half the superannuation savings of men.
  • This affects women's financial security, health and wellbeing. 
  • More older women are at risk of homelessness than men.

Aboriginal women

  • Aboriginal women’s experience of gender inequality is made worse by the impacts of colonisation and violent dispossession.
  • They are 11 times more likely to die from family violence than other women.

Culturally diverse communities

  • Women from culturally diverse communities experience racism and discrimination on top of gender inequality.
  • Migrant and refugee women are often in insecure, low-paid work or work they are overqualified for.
  • Women from non-English speaking backgrounds can face barriers to accessing services and understanding their rights.

Men

  • Traditional stereotypes are difficult for many men to live up to. They feel pressure to be a ‘real man’, to be physically and emotionally strong, and be the main income earner.
  • Many workplaces don’t offer men extended parental leave or flexible hours.
  • Men are more likely to drink too much, take unhealthy risks and engage in violence.
  • They are less likely to seek professional help or talk about their problems with friends or family.
  • Men are more likely to commit suicide.

Rural and regional women

  • Women living outside of metropolitan areas often do not have access to public services.
  • They are at greater risk of poor health outcomes and family violence.

Trans and gender diverse people

  • Trans and gender diverse people may feel forced to hide their gender identity when using services, at school or at work.
  • They are at greater risk of mental illness, verbal and physical abuse and social exclusion.

Women with disabilities

  • Women with disabilities are more likely to experience family violence and sexual assault.
  • They are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed.
  • They are paid less than men with disabilities and women without disabilities.

Reviewed 25 June 2018

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