Boorowa Central students learn about empowerment

From self-confidence to women in the workplace, female students in years seven to ten at Boorowa Central School got the opportunity to learn about equity and respect through the Country to Canberra Project Empower Program. 

The Canberra-based team visit rural and remote areas across Australia, with 80 schools out of more than 200 selected to take part in the program. 

Boorowa Central School Girls’ Advisor and Construction Teacher, Vicki Banks, said the students learnt a lot about gender inequity in both life and the workplace. 

“They pointed out things like currently, five per cent of high positions in Australia are held by women and to get pay equity, it looks like it’s going to take another 218 years,” she said. 

“About five years ago it was 180 something years and it’s actually increased.

“It was more of a this is what is happening out there, this is what you’ve got to look out for and this is what you’ve got to work towards.”

The workshop involved activities such as role playing different situations and getting the girls to write down strengths and weaknesses. 

“In regards to decision making, they discussed the difference between making a decision and making a values based decision. As in, I can decide this or that, but I’ve got to be true to myself.”

Ms Banks said the main issues addresses involved the #Metoo movement, equality and how men suffer from discrimination too. 

“They talked about the reasons for gender inequity, about how employers make judgments. They pointed out in several ways how things are a little bit unfair on boys.”

The Project Empower team has offered to come back in the future.