International Women’s Day

Equality Rights Alliance

Motion on Body Image Passed!

Equality Rights Alliance writes on

The motion on Body Image was passed yesterday!

On Wednesday 23 March, Senator Louise Pratt (WA, Australian Labor Party) and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Australian Greens) moved that the Senate:

a) acknowledges the Government’s continued commitment to improved media representation of women through the 2010 launch of the Voluntary industry code of conduct on body image (the code);

b) recognises that body image is an important health and wellbeing issue, as evidenced by research, including:

i) the recently released report, Australian Guides say … 2010: An insight into the minds of girls and young women in Australia today, which shows that 63 per cent of girls aged 10 to 14 years, and 75 per cent of those aged 18 to 30, believe that the media think the most important aspect of being a girl is to look ‘pretty and thin’ and that pressure to look good was listed by survey respondents as one of the top 10 worst things about being a girl,

ii) Mission Australia’s National survey of young Australians 2010: Key and emerging issues, which states that body image is the top personal concern among 11 to 24 year old Australians, a highly regarded survey which had 50 240 participants, with 53.9 per cent of the respondents being female,

iii) research published in 2000 by the Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, which showed that anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness after obesity and asthma for adolescent girls in Australia, and

iv) a report published in the Annual Review of Medicine, dated February 2010, which states that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric order with the death rate higher than that of major depression;

c) applauds the important work of Equality Rights Alliance, led by YWCA Australia, to promote and strengthen the code; and

d) notes that as Australia’s largest network of organisations advocating for women’s equality, women’s leadership and acknowledgement of the diversity of women, Equality Rights Alliance celebrated 100 years of International Women’s Day held on Tuesday, 8 March 2011, with ‘Sharing Young Women’s Stories’, a project to promote positive body image.

Question agreed to.

Source: The Senate Proof Body Image Speech [pdf]
Open Australia: Senate Debate – Body Image
Proof Issue: Hansard Tuesday, 22 March [pdf – page 22]