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Selected highlights: Differences between Australian men and women
While over 80% of Australian men and women reported they were satisfied with their lives, there are significant differences in their health, social and economic characteristics, and their work and family balance.
Economic Security. Women trail men in three key measures related to economic security.
· Employment: Fewer women are in the labour force than men, and those in the labour force are more likely to be in part-time and casual employment, and more likely to be under-employed than men.
· Income: women earn less overall, averaging a rate ratio of .89 of male earnings (non-managerial adult hourly ordinary time cash earnings).
· Wealth: women have much less superannuation than men, however rates of home ownership are similar.
Education. Overall women participate more in education.
· More women than men attain a bachelor degree, with many more qualifying in management, while men dominate in architecture and engineering degrees.
· Female graduates earn less than male graduates overall, with median starting salaries of $56k and $60k respectively, and they earn less in 16 out of 19 key industries
Health. On average, women live longer than men (84.5 years compared to 80.5 years) and have lower rates of risk factors.
· Risky levels of drinking are dropping for both men and women, but men are still twice as likely to exceed the drinking guidelines as women.
· Fewer men and women are smoking overall, but again, men are more likely to smoke than women.
· While men are much more likely to be overweight, levels of obesity are similar for men and women. Women of all ages are more likely to be sedentary.
· Women are slightly more likely to suffer from mental or behavioural conditions, with young women having twice the rate of reported anxiety of young men. However, men are more than three times as likely to take their own lives.
· Men and women both suffer from arthritis, but women are much more likely to do so than men when over 75.
· While the most common cause of death for both women and men is ischaemic heart disease, which is declining, death rates for dementia are increasing and are higher for women.
Work and Family Balance : Women are still the primary carers in Australia.
· Twice as many women as men provide primary care to a person with a disability, and of these women, 13% are employed full-time, 27% part-time, and 57% are not in the labour force.
· Almost all primary parental care leave, for non-public sector employees, was taken by women. Women employees in all sectors, however, were slightly more likely than men to be employed with no leave entitlements.
· While men and women averaged the same hours for paid and unpaid work overall, men spent twice as long as women in employment related activities and women spent twice as long as men in unpaid work (particularly domestic activities and child care).
Crime and Justice
· While men and women experience similar rates of physical or threatened violence, women are nearly five times as likely to be sexually assaulted. The imprisonment rate for men is over ten times that of women.
Democracy, Governance and Citizenship. While women are participating more in education, particularly tertiary education, they are under-represented on boards, as CEOs, ministers and parliamentarians, judges and justices.
· There has been a significant increase in female appointments in the senior executive service of the Australian Public Service (an increase of 8% to 43% over the past decade).
· There has also been an increase of 19% for female Federal Circuit Court Judges over this time, from 23% to 42%.
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