The performance of TV ads aired during the Soccer World Cup
AUSTRALIA may have a female governor-general, prime minister, two female premiers and three women on the High Court, but almost two-thirds of Australian women and almost half of men believe the country is yet to achieve full gender equality.
A survey conducted for the Herald by the Ipsos Mackay Report found 19 per cent of women strongly agreed, and 43 per cent somewhat agreed, with the proposition that "generally, men and women are not treated equally in Australia".
Of men, 10 per cent strongly supported the proposition, while 37 per cent agreed "somewhat".
The matter was put to 1047 people by iView, an Ipsos Mackay subsidiary, as part of the Report's first big study into Australian values and attitudes in almost 25 years.
Two female leaders - the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, and the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce - rate relatively highly when respondents are asked which Australian women "best represent Australian values". Fourteen per cent of Australians believe Ms Bligh best embodies national values, slightly trailing the swimming legend Dawn Fraser, who wins the support of 15 per cent.
Ms Bryce runs third, with 9.7 per cent, while 7.8 per cent of people say the solo teenage sailor Jessica Watson best represents the nation's values. Julia Gillard comes in fifth place, with 7.6 per cent.
The director of the Ipsos Mackay Report, Rebecca Huntley, said the support Ms Bligh enjoyed was more an affirmation of her stoic, and occasionally emotional, performance during the Queensland floods this year, than a sign of political support for her Labor government, which is struggling in the polls.
Asked which Australian men "best represent Australian values", 30 per cent of respondents nominated the businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist Dick Smith, followed by the late surgeon and war hero Sir Edward Dunlop (18 per cent), the late adventurer and TV presenter Steve Irwin, the actor Hugh Jackman (9.4 per cent) and the late cricketer Sir Donald Bradman (7.1 per cent).
Dr Huntley attributed Mr Smith's popularity to his campaigns for Australian-made products, his charitable works - he publicly gives away about $1 million a year - and his environmental work, including his more recent campaign for a sustainable population. She said the enduring affection for Weary Dunlop and Don Bradman was the combination of a "generational difference" and "Australia's tendency towards nostalgia".
The study, Being Australian, published this week, finds that while many Australian attitudes are constant - reservations about immigration and multiculturalism; hostility towards corporate power, and not much respect for authority - there has been a marked change in some views since the last big study in 1988.
No longer worried about laziness and "dole bludgers", Australians are much more anxious about overwork and a balanced lifestyle. While they continue to nominate - initially - athletes and sportsmen as "heroes", after reflecting on the litany of sports scandals, they no longer believe they are suitable role models.
The survey also found 60 per cent of people strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that the "national broadband network would improve communication in regional Australia".
The survey also found 60 per cent of people strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that the "national broadband network would improve communication in regional Australia".http://www.smh.com.au/national/women-on-top-but-still-treated-like-secondclass-citizens-in-our-eyes-20110624-1gjly.html
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 25th July 2011