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Chloe Shorten joins Our Watch

June 05 2017 By Hannah Grant, Our Watch Media Manager

Parents of young children want to challenge gender stereotypes in support of gender equality.

Our Watch is proud to welcome Chloe Shorten as our newest Ambassador, the organisation’s Chair Natasha Stott Despoja AM announced today. 

“Chloe Shorten’s role as an Our Watch Ambassador highlights further her commitment to gender equality and to eliminating violence against women and their children” said Ms Stott Despoja. 

 “Ms Shorten is a proud champion for gender equality and respectful relationships,” said Ms Stott Despoja.

As the daughter of former Governor-General of Australia, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO, Ms Shorten is familiar with the importance of positive, equal parenting.

“My childhood home was a household of ideas about gender equality, shared parenting and education. It was a household where talk became action” Ms Shorten 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,” said Ms Shorten.

“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,” said Ms Shorten.

Today, Our Watch releases the Power of Parents Snapshot Report. It reveals a majority of parents share Ms Shorten’s desire to challenge gender stereotypes. 

79% of parents of 0 – 3 year olds want their children to be able to be free of limiting gender stereotypes. 92% agree it is important to treat girls and boys equally in their early years.

Ms Stott Despoja said, “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,” said Ms Stott Despoja. 

Download a copy of the report here

Media contact:

Hannah Grant, Media and Ambassador Program Manager, Our Watch: 0448 844 930 or hannah.grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.”

Read guides for reporting about violence against women and their children.

About Our Watch

Our Watch’s purpose is to raise awareness and engage policy-makers and the Australian community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.

To do this the organisation works to increase gender equality and respect in all aspects of everyday life, such as through schools; workplaces; media; sporting organisations; social marketing, and developing and influencing public policy.

Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.