Omission with Permission?

From the last Supper, where one woman is alleged to have been included at the table, until today: exclusion and omission. The story remains the same!

One woman in the federal cabinet, less than one in 10 executives are women, one female CEO and one female chair in all state and national business chambers.

I ask the question to women, girls, ladies and all those who cart the Mrs, the Ms and the Miss honorific: when will we stop talking about ‘it’ and take action?

How much longer will we allow the mandatory exclusion and omission?

The majority of women in Australia today seem to take the indolent road: sit back in a comfortable chair, and talk about ‘it’ – a lot. Forums are attended and discussions are seldom heated. Dinners and lunches organised by network groups deliberate the horrors. World conferences provide for little protest but encourage comparison of facts and figures, both in and out of context.

We are all outraged by the fact that equal pay is not yet a reality even though it was mandated almost 30 years ago; but how many actually talk specific dollars and compare with open windows and doors? Not many, I say. Hence, the reality.

This year Australian female entrepreneurs have been excluded from the Women Entrepreneurs in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD)Key Evidence and Policy Challenges Report because Australia doesn’t collect data on female business owners!

Look at any annual report and see the ratio of male to female employees. Then look for the same organisation’s distribution of income between male and female employees. Oh! That’s right; it’s not there. Silly me!

Labor spent millions to ensure the six National Women’s Alliances, which claim to represent over 180 women’s organisations, were funded in order to keep them silent. Some claim they were further suppressed as the former Minister, the Hon. Julie Collins refused to meet them face-to-face, let alone listen.

Various feminist groups attempt to reduce violence against women, yet rape continues and domestic violence – more appropriately called what it is: ‘assault’ – is on the rise. We have failed to teach our daughters how to kick-arse and nurture their self-esteem, instead we accept that ‘fashion’ encourages women to expose all even as girls. Into the mix is social media which has morphed into a repugnant form of bullying and stalking which is further killing their self-esteem and increased depression in unprecedented numbers. What action is being taken by women to stop this?

The latest report on poverty shows that more women than ever are living below the poverty line; thousands sleep on the streets each night and many of these women are in their 60s!

We continue to be excluded because as a whole we haven’t the ovaries to stand together and take action; if we had balls, perhaps it would be different; I wonder.

Each one of the women’s groups assumes they are doing something better than the other, every day we have more not-for-profits ‘helping ‘ women. Yet as the old saying goes: united we stand; divided we fall!

And we continue to fall at every level.

Women are not moving up the lists to demonstrate positive outcomes for us fabulous femmes, yet chatting about it seems to be the national past time.

I was rather excited recently when I heard that Cher had released a ‘feminist anthem.’ I quickly got out the technology required and within 3 seconds was reading the lyrics to her new pop song.

During those three long seconds I thought “finally a woman standing up for women in a world where the word ‘feminist’ has become as popular as paedophilia.”

My anticipation soon turned to bewilderment. The so-called ‘new feminist anthem’ does anything but declare loyalty to women, country or cause. The lyrics claim this “a woman’s world.” really, Cher?

She continues: “Women are strong enough to rise above.” So why haven’t we done it yet? Helen Reddy said the same thing in 1975. We are not roaring; we’re cowering into submission. How much longer will we fake it until we actually make it and live within an equal system?

The one positive message in Cher’s so called ‘feminist anthem’ is that we should “stand up together now.” With this I agree, perhaps if nothing else we can do something before the next generation currently bopping along at the clubs with Cher’s hymn accuse Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y of being lazy, incompetent whingeing women who lived off the fruits of their mothers and grandmothers: all those before us who provided us with the ability to vote, work, educate ourselves and pop a pill to control our own destiny!

My call to action is give a little instead of always asking WIFM ladies! Perhaps even consider purchasing products and services from women and supporting your sisters!

The few chief executives in the corporate world have the power to include women into their supply chain should do just that! Although I was recently advised by a corporate diversity manager that “it’s not trendy to support women at the moment,” I think it’s up to us to change the trends instead of following them.

Yes Cher, women need to come together, one mission, one vision one voice all leading to equality.

Remember it only takes one person to start a revolution, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks confirmed that.

Have you the ovaries to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ and make the changes needed?


About Me

Leadership & Management
Lecturer / Non-Executive Director

Gender & Inclusion
Policy Advisor / Researcher

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