As a writer, I stand by the motto that “words change everything,” but do they?
On most subjects, they do. But to bring about real change on one of the most important issues there is, and that’s gender equality, we need more than words – we need action.
Writers have written thousands of words and articles to try to make people aware of the gender imbalance in Australia, and on some levels, people have taken notice. But has there been any hard action on making things equal for women? No. And we need hard action because discrimination is unfair and wrong. It should be illegal, as should racism.
Inequality issues need to be brought to centre stage. If, we are to have a change of Government in September this year, things as important as abortion issues on which Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said, might become a “political plaything” of male politicians if the coalition wins the election, so we need to start taking action now.
You can make a start by speaking up when you see gender discrimination, and the more men speak up, the faster we can bring about change. It does not matter if you see it in your school, your family, your company or department, speak up, it will help change things. Like all the cases of racism that there is in Australia, the more we speak up, challenge and protest, the more things will change. We need a national campaign, and laws to tackle the gender discrimination, inequality and imbalance issues, which hold us back as a country.
And not just in business, where there are laws that do and do not work, but in all types of public and private arenas, in education, governments and right across society. How many of us are tired of arguing for the case of equality. Discrimination is destroying lives, businesses, hopes, and prospects. But worst of all, it’s destroying ideas. The ideas that we need to progress as people and as a nation.
We don’t need a select committee, panel or group to tell us what is the right thing. Your own internal values system tells you what is right and wrong. No one on this earth wants to be discriminated against, so don’t do it to others, in whatever form.
The best place to start and bring about change is from the grassroots. By you doing something about it, from inside your family, group, club, business or institution. If we speak up and act, we can change things, but we all need to open our eyes to this situation, because it is costing us on so many levels.
Gender discrimination can be subtle, or right in your face bloody obvious. Recognising it, especially at a corporate level can be tricky, unless of course it happens to you, then you know exactly what it is, and how it feels to be treated us unworthy because of your sex.
Humans have the capacity to do anything. We have proven this repeatedly, and if we can’t get rid of discrimination in Australia, then we don’t deserve to be called a nation; because a nation is a large group of people who are united by their common values. Discrimination is not one of our values, but we let it happen, we shouldn’t. And we can fix it, if we want.
The next time you see it, what are you going to do about it?