Sexist culture needs to be stamped out

A survey of Australians released October 1 by Plan International Australia shows that, unfortunately, we still have a long way to go to address sexism in Australia.

That three-in-four young Australian women and girls have been subjected to sexist comments and 28 per cent said they often heard a politician, sportsperson or public figure make a sexist remark is deeply concerning.

When men feel it is OK tobehave disrespectfully, and sexist attitudes against women are common, we create a culture of support for violence against women.

One-in-two young women said sexism has affected their career path and one-third said it would be easier to get their dream job if they were male.

Sadly, none of this is surprising.

VicHealth’s National Community Attitudes Survey on Violence Against Women, released recently, showed more than a quarter of Australians believe men make better political leaders and more than one-in-10 said that when jobs are scarce, men have more right to a job than women.

Sexist and violent behaviour is learnt and it can be unlearned.

If we want to change attitudes and create a culture where young women and girls thrive academically and professionally, we need to reject an Australia where sexist behaviour is ignored or trivialised.

Jerril Rechter,

CEO VicHealth

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