From the September 2012 edition of Agriculture Today: Beyond the Kitchen Table – a column by Sonia Muir, Rural Women’s Network
In the 12 months to September 2011, 13% of NSW women (2629) who started an apprenticeship or traineeship did so in a trade.
Fifty of those women commenced a construction trade compared to 5140 men and only 116 commenced an automotive and engineering trade compared to 5259 men.
A new report on the status of women in NSW provides interesting data that compare women and men in terms of health, education, work and financial security, leadership, safety and access to justice.
The latest edition of the Rural Women’s Network newsletter The Country Web focuses on women crossing boundaries and is available online.
It is filled with stories of women who have gone against tradition to become electricians, shearers, feedlotters, painters and miners.
The gender divide is still evident in these workplaces but we are seeing changes.
The status of women report shows that Aboriginal women make up 2.1% of the total 50.4% female population within NSW.
Nearly two-thirds of NSW women live in Sydney, with 24.9% in regional areas (outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong) and less than 1.0% in remote areas of the State.
The median age of women in NSW in 2011 (38) is nearly two years older than that of men.
One in five families in NSW is headed by a single parent, and 88% of single parents are women.
More than one third of NSW women aged over 65 live alone.
Although a greater proportion of university students in NSW are women, male graduates earn considerably more than females in their first year out and on average, regional women hold less superannuation that their city counterparts.
In terms of leadership, NSW women are more represented than the Australian average woman on government boards and committees and in the judiciary, but are less likely to be in senior public sector positions.
The report, Women in NSW, will be published annually so that progress and trends can be tracked over time.
It aims to raise awareness of gender issues to strengthen the evidence base for government, business and community action on issues concerning women.
BTW – the Office for Women’s Policy is now called Women NSW to recognise a role that goes beyond policy advice to engaging stakeholders in change.