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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Australia: slow on the uptake

Congratulations to Queensland Governor Quentin Bryce, women's and indigenous rights advocate, lawyer, and former federal sex discrimination commissioner. She is to become Australia's first (first!) female Governor General.

Normally I wouldn't care who the Governor General of Australia was (I can barely remember who the New Zealand one is) but the fact that it took until 2008 (220 years!) before they had a woman in the role is pretty astounding. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said:

I think it's a great reflection on the fact that modern Australia is about the proper role of women in our society.
We're nearly a decade into the 21st century, when did this "modern Australia" thing start? Is it Australia 2.0?

I'm really glad that in New Zealand we have a large number of women in high positions and have done for a long time*. And I hate it when I hear about people complaining that we are becoming "feminised" by it. For some reason being masculinised is ok though.

Also, just as an aside, the Herald headline says "Finally, the Aussies embrace girl power". "Girl Power" as it has become (rather than where it actually originated) has nothing to do with empowering women and everything to do with increasing the spending power and marketability to/of young women and girls.

*I know the glass ceiling is still very much in place.

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