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Australia's first female Prime Minster and the campaign for female education

By Sue Smith

It is interesting to read about the issues and problems as identified by Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female Prime Minister. I can recall journalists at the time commenting on her appearance or on her hair, something that is hardly ever heard of a male leader or statesman.

Her work on the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) is particularly interesting. Here in Hong Kong, it is rare for a girl to be denied education due to her gender, although there may be some issues when it comes to the subject and course choices girls make. But in many other parts of Asia and of the world, educating girls is often seen as a wasted effort. This is despite studies that show that women with an education are better mothers, better leaders of their community and of course better equipped with dealing with the problems they face.

The idea that educating girls is less important than educating boys is one which sees girls and women denied opportunities and denied the ability to reach their full potential, for themselves as well as for their families. There is still a lot of need to promote the importance of girls being well educated because everyone benefits when those around us are able to realize their goals and aspirations.

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