Philanthropists Lead Action on Gender Inequality
4 March 2014 at 8:39 am
Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, has launched a suite of high-school education materials to address discrimination against women and girls.
The materials are based on the ‘I Am A Girl’ documentary, an in-depth look at the reality of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century.
Led by the Documentary Australia Foundation, the documentary and education materials have been funded almost entirely by philanthropic donors including the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation and the John T Reid Charitable Trusts.
Following the lives of six young women, the documentary addresses issues of family violence, disease, poverty and disadvantage in girls locally and abroad.
Speaking at the launch, Stott Despoja said: “Despite representing almost a quarter of the world’s population, girls are are subjected to enormous discrimination, the impact of which is felt throughout their lives.
“This discrimination includes unequal access to education and health services, early and forced marriage, unequal participation in employment and leadership positions and high levels of violence.
“In Australia, one in three women experience physical violence by an intimate partner; and almost one in five have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. This figure is as high as two in three women in some Pacific countries.”
I Am A Girl Director Rebecca Barry said that addressing gender inequality and the consequent social problems was the responsibility of all Australians.
“Secondary school is a time when students form attitudes and behaviours that can last a lifetime,” Barry said.
“The educational materials aim to raise the profile of gender inequality and inspire attitudinal and behavioral change from a young age.”
I Am a Girl was recently nominated for four Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) awards.