Parliament – Girls Take Over Parliament

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

It’s wonderful to have Anna from Merici College in Canberra in the chamber today. She has joined me as part of Girls Take Over Parliament.

One of the issues that Anna prepared before she came on her day is an issue that interested her after she spent some time looking into it, and that is: how is it that young children can form a mindset based on gender stereotypes? This is reflected in many things in their lives, including some things as simple as choosing toys which are tailored specifically to boys or girls.

When reflecting on the treatment of girls and boys, Anna has reflected on how this can often be compared in the language we use around gender. Anna raised the example of boys perhaps being described as confident and boisterous, whereas girls, in contrast, would be called loud and rude. Anna viewed this as a problem and said that these descriptions don’t always empower women to stand up and have their voices heard equally or recognised.

Anna believes that there are still issues around girls being able to have their voices heard as equal to their male peers, and that is something which has been recognised in early education. Anna is here today to ensure that young girls and women are able to have a voice. Today they have a voice in parliament, and I am so impressed by Anna’s deep thought on this issue. I wish her the best of luck—hopefully, we’ll see her in this chamber one day.

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