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A colony on the Moon ahead of closing the global gender pay gap?

"Rosie the Riveter" was the star of a campaign aimed at recruiting female workers for defence industries during World War II, and she became perhaps the most iconic image of working women.

UN Women has released a new campaign in Australia, “Equality: Our Final Frontier”, which highlights how humankind is set to reach extraordinary achievements ahead of closing the global gender gap.

UN Women is a UN organisation delivering programmes, policies and standards that uphold women’s human rights and ensure that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential.

The World Economic Forum currently predicts it will take 135.6 years to close the global gender gap.

It’s a number that has increased in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic – halting progress towards gender parity across several economies and industries.

Australia currently ranks 50th out of 156 countries, with our strongest efforts in educational attainment overshadowed by lower scores in economic participation and opportunity.

In response, UN Women Australia has released a campaign that was created by The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song, to call on Australians to examine the current timeline for gender equality.

The film tells the story of a woman who leaves a protest march in 2022 and walks through a future where incredible technological and scientific feats are achieved, but gender parity still lags.

With robotic farms, a trans-Atlantic tunnel and a colony on the Moon all predicted to happen before we reach gender equality, the woman realises that space isn’t our final frontier – gender equality is.

UN Women Australia CEO Simone Clarke said: “In an age where technological advancements have unlocked the answers to some of the biggest challenges of our time, it’s incomprehensible to me that gender equality ‘might’ exist somewhere in the future.

“The future for women is now, and we can’t afford to wait any longer.

“We need to act now and make gender equality a reality in our lifetime.”

Simone said she experienced a number of gender pay inequality roles throughout her career.

“I was also lucky enough to secure a management role back in the early 90s, which enabled me to work part-time.

“Back then that was almost unheard of, and sadly it is still a unique offering that isn’t available widely enough.

“Having the opportunity to take on a part-time role that gave me management experience, while still having a young family, had an incredible impact on my career,” Simone said.

“Seeing the data come out from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency recently really drives that point home.

“Too many women are locked out of growing their careers because these opportunities aren’t available to them.”

Chief Creative Officer of The Monkeys, Tara Ford adds: “Providing some real-world reference points of advancements in technology and humanity shows just how absurd (and horrifying) it is to have gender equality pegged for even further into the future.

“Unbelievably, it’s now predicted equality will not be seen for another four generations. We hope our campaign inspires action, not just contemplation.”

“Equality: Our Final Frontier” is preceded by the campaign “When Will She Be Right?” in early 2021, asking Australians to agitate and accelerate progress on gender equality.

For Simone, she can’t get past the question of: “Why does the gender pay gap even exist?”

“Why is it even a discussion?

“There is no data, no research, nothing that says why a man should be paid more than a woman.

“The gender pay gap coupled with time out of the workforce, limiting career progression, and the following impact to retirement funds – the hits just keep on coming.

“Gender equality affects everyone, and we need women and men to get involved if we are ever going to see it change.”

UN Women Australia is calling to change the timeline and ensure that, amidst all this progress for humankind, we are not leaving gender equality behind. Australians are urged to act now at unwomen.org.au.

To view the UN Women Australia campaign film: click here.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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