Why there isn’t an International Men’s Day
WHY isn't there an International Men's Day? Every year International Women's Day always seem to turn into International Whingeing Day, because all we hear are the blokes banging on about how unfair it is that women have a day to themselves.
Here's why a day to highlight the gap between men and women is - sadly - still needed.
According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, men still earn between 15 and 19 per cent more than women when full time average weekly earnings are compared.
Compare male and female salaries across 100 non-government organisations with more than 100 employees and the gap is a whopping $27,000 a year.
Differences start early: the median starting salary for women in $56,000 and for men it's $60,000, figures from the ABS Gender Indicators Australia 2017 show.
When it comes to economic security, women retire with much less super than men - an average of $196,409 compared to $310,000 for men. This is despite the fact that men and women of retirement age both have same levels of home ownership.
When it comes to sexual abuse, women are overwhelmingly the victims and men the perpetrators.
Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show one in six women and one in 16 men have been sexually abused by their partner. One in four women and one in six men have experienced emotional abuse from a partner and one in five women and one in 20 men
have been sexually assaulted or threatened.
In 2016, on average, police recorded 52 sexual assaults each day against women and about 11 against men.
Men are still running this country: women on the board of ASX 200 listed companies has gone from 8.3 per cent in 2009 to 2018 per cent.
Women also do 70 per cent of the unpaid care for children, those with disabilities, the elderly and the sick, Human Rights Commission figures show.
Australia's female political representation is also well below where it should be: we now rank 48th in the world, down from 32nd in 2006.
Culturally, women have less lead roles on TV and in films, have a lesser representation in the music industry and continue to be portrayed in overtly sexual way in computer games.
The gap between women and men is even more stark in non-Anglo cultures, with some Muslim women facing forced marriages, genital mutilation and sexual abuse, not to mention having to cover themselves up in public.
Of course there are exceptions, but it is still a man's world in many ways. That's why I am not against the ABC allowing only female presenters on air.
I think it's a great initiative that will illustrate the depth of female talent in broadcasting.
Who knows? Maybe some women waiting in the wings will have a chance to fill roles they
don't normally have the opportunity to do. Maybe some new talent will be unearthed.
Watching the ABC this morning there's not a sudden drop in quality. There's no shuffling for
things to say, no dead air, no bizarre babbling.
Just accomplished professional women getting on with the job of presenting the news. Now, I do acknowledge that men face serious areas of disadvantage that should not be ignored.
For instance, men drink more than women, and are more likely to be overweight, although levels of obesity are similar. Women also live longer - 84 years compared to 80 years. Men are also more likely to be in prison, commit violent crimes, have mental health issues and commit suicide.
Men's ability to address these vital areas isn't undermined by International Women's Day, as many try and make out.
We shouldn't be scared to talk about what women need just because some men need things too. Happy International Women's Day!