Chloe Shorten has been named an Our Watch Ambassador today, to help support gender equality by challenging the gender stereotypes thrown at young children.
Our Watch Chair Natasha Stott Despoja AM made the announcement this morning, saying Chloe’s appointment highlights her commitment to gender equality, respectful relationships, equal parenting, and eliminating violence against women and their children.
— Natasha StottDespoja (@NStottDespoja) June 5, 2017
At the press conference this morning Chloe shared experiences from her childhood to note the importance of positive, equal parenting at home. Particularly growing up as the daughter of former Governor-General of Australia, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce.
“My childhood home was a household of ideas about gender equality, shared parenting and education. It was a household where talk became action,” she said.
“For as long as I can remember, my mother has fought to eliminate domestic violence from the community. It wasn’t a passing interest – it has been a lifetime commitment. My Dad, a renowned architect, consistently modelled modern marriage and parenting for us.
“As a parent, supporting children to pursue their interests free from limiting gender stereotypes is crucial. Gender inequality is underpinned by rigid adherence to gender stereotypes, and evidence says gender inequality and disrespect breed violence against women. This is one of the reasons why I’m excited to become an Our Watch Ambassador.”
— Our Watch (@OurWatchAus) June 5, 2017
Chloe’s appointment comes as Our Watch also releases its Power of Parents Snapshot Report, revealing the majority of parents also wish to challenge gender stereotypes. According to Our Watch research, 79% of parents of 0 – 3 year olds say they want their children to be able to be free of limiting gender stereotypes. Ninety two per cent agreed it is important to treat girls and boys equally in their early years.
Natasha said today that language matters, with expressions of gender stereotypes impacting children later on. “Language matters, and expressions of gender stereotypes shape attitudes that last into adulthood. These can include telling boys that ‘boys don’t cry’ when they express their emotions, or calling girls ‘bossy’ when they assert themselves.
“These notions embolden the stereotype that men make better leaders due to being more decisive and rational. This view is supported by one in five Australians.”
“Of course, parents have enormous influence over their child’s development.
“Challenging outdated gender stereotypes can be as simple as sharing the care-giving and house work. It can including exposing our children to a diverse range of role models and championing both female and male leaders in books, television, movies, arts and sport.”
Chloe joins a number of other high profile Australian ambassadors of Our Watch, including Rosie Batty, Khadija Gbla, Charlie Pickering, Tasma Walton, Ann O’Neill, Tarang Chawla, Rebecca Poulson, Rachel Kayrooz, Arman Abrahimzadeh, Sue Salthouse, Alan Cransberg, Julia Zemiro, and Lucy Turnbull AO.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000”