Three Questions with: Laura Burfitt (Young Women’s Council)

1. What do you see as the top issues facing young women in Australia?

I think domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV) is the leading issue for all Australian women regardless of age. The attitudes and behaviours which lead to DFSV crystallise during childhood and adolescence.

This is why it is so important to challenge gender roles and stereotypes and teach respectful relationships from a young age.

If women can’t be safe, how can they be expected to participate and contribute equally in society?

2. Why did you join YWCA’s Young Women’s Council?

I have followed the work of the YWCA for a while and I really respect the organisation’s values, especially its commitment to intersectionality. I joined the Young Women’s Council because I wanted to hear the voices of other young women with backgrounds different to my own in order to broaden and improve my own views and opinions on gender issues. Also, as a government worker, I wanted to be involved in the gender equality movement from a non‑government approach, and what better organisation to be involved in!

3. Who is your feminist hero?

I really value Clementine Ford’s contribution to modern feminism. Though I don’t agree with everything she says (and I don’t have too, us feminists aren’t homogenous robots), I really admire her unapologetic attitude to standing up for what she believes in. Clementine has made it okay for women and girls to be angry (anger being a traditionally unfeminine emotion). And why shouldn’t we be angry? It’s 2019 and we’re STILL not equal to men! And further, Clementine has reminded us that we don’t need to apologise for taking up space and voicing our opinions.

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