Despite major improvements in gender equality in recent years, there is still a long way to go. And without going all Germaine Greer on you, Crikey takes a looks at the gender divide on the issues of money and health.

Women in the workplace:

  • Continue to be over-represented in clerical, sales and service jobs, holding 87% of advanced clerical jobs. They also tend to be disproportionately employed part time. — Quoted in “Gender differences in occupation and Employment in Australia”, Alison Preston and Elizabeth Whitehous, Curtin Business School paper
  • Are massively under-represented in the top echelons of employment, with only 6 female CEOs in the ASX top 200 companies and 1 in the top 10. Overall median pay for the top female earners in the ASX200 companies was a mere 58% of the median male pay. Female Chief Financial officers on average earn half the wage of their male counterparts and female CEOs earn two-thirds of what male CEOs earn. It was however found that ASX200 companies with more women on the board tend to have more female top-earners. — Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 
  • On average in 2006 women earned $941, only 84% of men’s average weekly income. This is reflected throughout the age groups, with even new Graduate females in 2007 earning having a median salary of $3,000 per annum less than their male counterparts. — Graduate Careers Australia
  • Only 24% of MPs in the Federal Parliament are female (66 MPs). — Her Voice

But things are not completely bleak:

  • Women made up 57.1% of all persons enrolled in Bachelor’s Degrees in Australia in 2006, and 51% of students in Postgraduate Degrees. — Australian Bureau of Statistics

When it comes to health, men are often the ones we need to worry about:

  • Women also live on average five years longer than men.
  • Less than 50% of the male population dies of old age. Leading causes of death are ischaemic heart disease (21%), cerebrovascular disease (7.3%), lung cancer (6.9%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4.9%), prostate cancer (4.0%) and colorectal cancer (3.8%). — according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
  • There are 129 male deaths from cancer for every 100 female deaths from cancer. — ABS
  • One in four women and one in six men experience depression at some stage in their adult lifetime. The suicide rate for men between 1998 and 2002 was four times higher than that for women. — BeyondBlue
  • 1 in 5 menstruating women and half of all pregnant women are believed to be anaemic. — Better Health

Peter Fray

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