Gender equality is good for everyone — women, men, boys, girls and people of other genders.
Unequal societies are less cohesive. They have higher rates of anti-social behaviour and violence. Countries with greater gender equality are more connected. Their people are healthier and have better wellbeing.
What would a gender equal society look like?
Advantages of gender equality for individuals
In Australia, one in three women experience men’s violence. Men also experience men’s violence and other negative impacts on their lives — including mental illness and suicide — due to rigid gender ideas about what it means to ‘be a man’.
In a more gender equitable society, women, men and others could:
- live their lives free from the men’s violence, and the threat of it
- express themselves in ways that felt right, for them, and that promoted their health and wellbeing.
Advantages of gender equality for families
Even though women make up nearly half of the paid workforce in Australia, they still spend almost twice as many hours a day as men on unpaid housework and childcare.
A more gender equitable division of housework and childcare could make for:
- happier relationships — research shows that gender imbalances around housework can lead to relationship friction and increase the likelihood of divorce
- happier children — teens in countries where social norms support both parents’ involvement in childcare report higher levels of life satisfaction.
Advantages of gender equality at school and work
Even though Australia ranks number one in the world for women completing education, we rank 49th for women’s economic opportunity and participation. In 2022, women continue to be over-represented in areas of study that are linked to lower earning industries and women’s average full-time earnings are 14% less than men’s.
Gender equality in educational outcomes and at work could mean:
- a more prosperous economy — the Australian economy would gain $8 billion if women transitioned from tertiary education into the workforce at the same rate as men
- a reduction in women’s poverty and homelessness, especially later in life.
Advantages of gender equality in public life
We are yet to see a representative number of women reach the highest levels of business and politics in Australia. Only 14 CEOs of Australia’s top 200 companies, and only 39% of federal parliamentarians, are women.
Gender equality in public life could mean:
- more profitable businesses — businesses with at least 30% women in leadership positions are 15% more profitable.
- fairer, more cohesive societies — women in positions of authority tend to resolve national crises without resorting to violence, advocate for social issues that benefit all and allocate greater proportions of national budgets to health and education.
About Our Watch
Our Watch is a national leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia. We work to embed gender equality and prevent violence where Australians live, learn, work and socialise.Find more about Our Watch