Business leader and social enterprise pioneer Carol Schwartz AM has launched a campaign to boost the number of women recognised through the Australia honours system.
The campaign includes publication of a guide - Advancing Women: Women & the Order of Australia - designed to guide people through the process of nominating women for an award.
There is a largely unrecognised problem in the distribution of awards in Australia. Fewer women - many fewer women - than men are nominated, and that means that fewer women than men get the awards.
Things aren't getting better, either. In fact, the trend line is going down.
Of course, this is not a problem confined to the Australian honours system. Women are underrepresented in many other places in Australian society.
However, this is one of the few places where it is relatively easy to redress the balance as there are already many Australian women who have made extraordinary contributions. All we need to do is ensure a larger number of these women are nominated.
Australian honours represent the things that we, as a community, believe to be deserving of recognition - believe, in fact, to be honourable. We honour people who deserve it. There's no reason why women should not make up half the honours lists.
If you know a woman who's doing work that you admire, put her forward for an award. Australia will thank you.
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