Facts & Figures

"I was the first woman to burn my bra - it took the fire department four days to put it out."
Dolly Parton, country singer and actress.

Decades of burning bras and protesting paid off, in 1969 Australian women won the right to equal pay, and in 1972 pay parity was finally achieved.

In WA today, Western Australia's wage equality gap is the biggest in Australia (Source: Alan Kohler, ABC News, October, 2010).

But that hasn't stopped a generation of fresh, bright, enthusiastic young WA women from achieving their dreams.

Facts & Figures

  • The two highest IQ's ever recorded (on a standard test) both belonged to women.
  • Women are paid less than men, except in one field: Modeling.
  • Women in full-time paid work earn 18% less than men or $1 million less over a lifetime.
  • A Saudi Arabian woman can divorce her husband if he doesn't give her coffee!
  • Women are now more likely to have a tertiary qualification than men, but female graduates will earn $2000 less than male graduates, and $7500 less by the fifth year after graduation.
  • Fewer than 2% of ASX 200 companies have a female CEO, and only 1 in 12 board directors is a woman.
  • The earliest woman, whose name is recorded, was En Hedu'anna, high priestess of the temple of the Moon God in Ur, and possibly the first poet and first named author of either gender.
  • The average number of items in a 'typical' woman's bathroom is 437.
  • Women retire with less than half the amount of savings in their superannuation accounts compared with men.
  • It is illegal to be a prostitute in Siena, Italy, if your name is Mary.
  • Under the former Coalition Government's Work Choices laws, the pay gap widened for the first time in 25 years - thousands of women lost penalty rates and other important job conditions, and minimum wages were cut in real terms (http://www.actu.org.au/Campaigns/EqualPay/default.aspx)
  • Australia is currently ranked 59 out of 134 countries in the world, based on the criteria of wage equality for similar work (Source: World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report, 12 October, 2010). Canada comes in at 18 and New Zealand at number 25.

Western Australian Women making History

  • 15 May, 1900 - Women win the vote in Western Australia
    West Australian women win the vote in WA elections with Queen Victoria's assent - the Bill passed by the WA parliament on 15 December, 1899 (http://www.womenshistory.com.au/timeline.asp)
  • 1912
    Sarah (Fanny) Durack was the first woman and first Australian to win Olympic Gold (100m Freestyle).

    The minimum wage for women's work was set in the First Federal Arbitration Award for Women by Mr Justice Higgins (until 1950 this was usually 54 per cent of the male rate) (http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/women/progserv/research/Pages/wia_milestones_1871_1983.aspx)
  • 1920
    Western Australian women achieved the right to stand for State Parliament.
  • 12 March, 1921 - First woman elected to an Australian parliament
    Edith Cowan (Nationalist, West Perth) became the first woman to be elected to an Australian parliament. She served in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly until 22 March, 1924 (http://www.womenshistory.com.au/timeline.asp)
  • June 19, 1969 - Equal Pay
    After decades of campaigning, Australian women workers win equal pay rates under an Arbitration Commission decision for incremental increases, with pay parity eventually achieved in 1972 (http://www.womenshistory.com.au/timeline.asp)
  • 1949-50
    Basic Wage Inquiry held. For the first time women's organisations (National Council of Women and the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women Clubs) made submissions for equal pay. The female basic wage was established, but equal pay was not (it was only 75% of the male wage).
  • 1980
    Women were admitted to the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia (SLSA). In July, five women from Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club WA sat the SLSA Bronze Medallion test, to give them equal rights to patrol surf beaches around Australia, and compete at surf lifesaving carnivals.
  • 2010
    Australia elects its first female Prime Minister.

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