In conversations with her peers in her home state of Queensland, Australia, Madeline Price, 25, was struck by something odd: None of her friends or acquaintances believed gender inequality was a problem anymore. They would remark that women had the right to vote and attend college. They had access to domestic violence shelters if they needed them. What more could they want?
Once it was clear to Price that a lot more education was needed around issues of gender equality, the One Woman Project was born. A volunteer-run organization founded by Price in 2014, the One Woman Project aims to educate young people on the vast gender inequality issues all over the globe. The organization has bases in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, India and Tanzania.
“It was not that they did not care about issues of global gender inequality, like mental health issues among men and the sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence epidemic we have in Australia and internationally,” Price told Know Your Value. “It was simply that they did not know.”
Growing at lightning speed
Once Price got the ball rolling, One Woman Project picked up speed quickly. The organization is now one of Australia’s fastest-growing youth-led nonprofit organizations, reaching 11,000 young people in 2018. “The idea was that if we could educate our young people about these issues of inequality and upskill them with the tools for change, then we might actually be able to do something about it,” Price explained.
Price is incredibly passionate about her work – her ability to articulate exactly which gender equality problems women face in 2018 doesn’t just help people understand the issues better – it makes them care.
“Issues of global gender inequality are prevalent at every level of society, from our education system, to our political system, to our companies and businesses, to our domestic and home lives,” she said. “The ability to educate young people and equip them with the tools to create change in their own communities is incredibly important to me.”
Reaching young people and rethinking milestones
Of course, getting these young people to care doesn't just come from Price handing over the facts. She makes sure they see what’s going on for themselves in a variety of different ways.
“We do workshops in the schools, rural road trips (this includes engaging with students often forgotten by traditional extra-curricular educational programs), seminars, our ambassador program, outreach and engagement events, and online campaigns,” she said. “While all of our educational programs are incredible, having grown up in a rural area myself, my heart does sit with our rural road trips and the change they can provide to young people who haven't had exposure to these conversations of gender inequality before.”
Price is proud of how many young people she’s reached this year, but that’s not the milestone she’s focused on: She’s paying attention to the stories. “So many young people have been able to take the tools we’ve provided them and create change in their own communities, stand up to oppression and put their feelings into words,” said Price. “That is what is impactful to me.”
Getting involved and knowing your value
Even if you don’t live near any of the One Woman Project bases, there are many ways to take action on gender inequality, from joining organizations like Global Citizen to reflecting on gendered division of labor your own home. Price suggests starting conversations about who is taking on the majority of household tasks and who is doing the “emotional labor” — such as remembering birthdays, tasks and organizing social activities. “One conversation can start the ball rolling for change — and who knows who you could be assisting when you start these conversations in your own community,” said Price.
And if you’re struggling to make your voice heard, Price suggests finding a sponsor. “Someone who will help you to create that change through vouching for you, mentoring you or introducing you to the right networks,” she explained. “It could be a more senior person in your workplace, if you are tackling workplace inequality and getting your voice heard in a workplace setting.”
Despite all that she’s accomplished, Price feels that her Know Your Value moment is still to come. “I am of the belief that until we have reached equality, until we have done all that we can to achieve it, then my work is not yet done.”
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