Jordana, 21, QLD

“I wish the government knew that young women have it tough.

You can’t just describe our issues and tribulations in neat phrases such as ‘gender pay gap’, and ‘women in STEM’ either, although these problems do matter. What women face is much larger, and universal in nature. Whether it’s the daily sexual harassment I can experience at my retail job, or a male student cutting me off while speaking in class, or one of the thousands of similar situations my female friends and I could experience, it all matters and it all negatively impacts a woman’s confidence and experience and her opportunities thereafter. It’s all part of the social conditioning that women and men alike are taught is normal behaviour. And it’s near impossible to change this.

I wish the government knew that, despite the rhetoric of “equality” and a “fair go” repeated throughout Australian society, not even the parliament can get it right and ensure women are safe, empowered and equal, and how incredibly demoralising that is for the young women in this country, including myself. And I wish the government knew how desperately we want, and deserve, better than this.”