This is the sad reality of what life is like for Australian teenage girls right now.

“I think every young girl and woman has experienced everyday sexism in their life,” Sherry-Rose tells me during a Monday night conversation.

“It’s the cumulative nature and the small insidious acts that make you more aware and hyper-conscious of the fact that being a woman almost singles you out in society,” the Plan International Youth Ambassador continues.

Our Watch and Plan International have today published a report — which Sherry-Rose participated in — that reveals just how rampant gender inequality and sexism continues to be in Australian society. Its release coincides with the International Day of the Girl.

Speaking to Sherry-Rose about the findings, I tell her I’m struck by how little seems to have changed.

Investigating everyday experiences, relationships, online and physical safety, sexual education and reproductive rights, it’s an illuminating but shocking read.

Image via iStock. 

"For myself in particular, I know that being a woman of colour, I can't isolate my experience of gender inequality or sexism from race," Sherry-Rose says.

"And in my experience, they can be interlinked, however in general, as this report shows, so many young girls and women all around Australia are experiencing everyday sexism at a rate that's not comparable to 2016 modern Australian society."


The report, titled 'Everyday Sexism: girls' and young women's views on gender inequality in Australia', includes staggering statistics of what life for young Australian females looks like in 2016.

Speaking to 600 Australian girls and women between the ages of 15 to 19, the report found that 69 per cent of participants consider gender inequality to be an ongoing problem in society.

Image via iStock. 

A whopping 50 per cent said their looks were valued above their brains, while just 38 per cent felt they were given as many opportunities as males.

Thirty-three per cent believe it would be easier to get their dream job if they were male, and only 14 per cent believe the opportunities they are given are equal to those offered to boys.

Just 8 per cent of girls felt that were routinely treated the same as boys. The numbers, Sherry-Rose says, speak for themselves.

"We're not talking about a small minority group of people who have a particularly isolated issue," she says. "We're talking about a problem that is experienced by 50 per cent of the global population."


Plan International Deputy CEO Susanne Legena agrees.

"Everyone feels like we've come so far but then we have situations like the Kelly Oxford tweet on the weekend that proves it's just so pervasive."

Image via iStock. 

The power of the report, though, Legena says, is that it "gives people permission to say it's not okay.

"There's so little research done with girls," Legena continues. "And what was so interesting about this research and the age group it looks at is that their experience of the world really resonated with me as an older woman. Things haven't changed as much as I would have liked; we haven't progressed as much as we should have," she says finally.

Sherry-Rose agrees, saying that despite the findings, there is a positive.

"I think one of the things that makes this report unique is that not often are girls given the opportunity to voice their independent opinion. And not often is the spotlight shone on what they're saying. And this report does that."

The full report can be found here