Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings, and Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory Katy Gallagher- as well as taking trophies as our highest-earning actor (Naomi Watts) and richest person (Gina Rinehart). Oh, and one must not forget the Queen.
Moreover it lists the four Australian of the Year awardees, all but the top gong went to women: Marita Cheng is Young Australian of the Year, Laurie Baymarrwangga the Senior Australian of the Year and Local Hero for 2012 is foster parent Lynne Sawyers. (The last woman to take out the top honour was Dr Fiona Wood in 2005.)
Furthermore it stated that seeing women in positions of power does tremendous good for girls' ambitions; for years they have had to imagine that they could, for example, become prime minister of Australia, and now they know it's possible. As of last year, 27 of 76 senators were women, and in the House of Representatives, 37 of 150 members.
On the business front, Rinehart is on her way to becoming the richest person in the world, yet she is still routinely referred to as an "heiress" rather than by her job titles, chairman and director of Hancock Prospecting. James Packer, also an heir, is called a "billionaire" or a "businessman". (www.smh.com.au)
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson was fascinated not by the content of the article, but by the closing comment: "People often scoff when feminists raise topics like this. "What are you doing," they guffaw, "keeping score?""
It becomes confusing
He says there is a different issue at hand that presupposes the natural differences between the sexes and the way in society has changed. Some women have managed both a family and a high degree of professional success and one such example is Governor-General Quentin Bryce with a husband and four children and who is also a grand-ma.
Women want this free choice to work and succeed, and financial circumstances permitting, many would love to stay home, as others enjoy a working life. We all know some women who would prefer to be home with the kids (if they possibly could), and be provided for by family or husband.
This in Mark Tronson's view is the forgotten issue in any situation, that it is the women who fall pregnant, bear the children and if they so choose to stay at home, and if financially possible, that too should be acclaimed with as much vigour in the "public place".
It is a far cry from the English aristocracy, both women and men stayed home and were provided for by family money, as is the monarchy. Everyone would like a lazy life with someone else doing the 'providing', at least some of the time. But then a few people would get bored and want to go and contribute to society at large. And this should be their free choice too, if they want, and that applies to women and men.
It is wonderful that our heritage has provided us with such a bountiful democratic and cross-cultural society, with educational and career opportunities for all who wish to take them, whether they be women or migrants from every place on Earth or descendants of convicts or "even" descendants of the NSW Rum Corps.
Everyone, school-leavers or mature-age workers wanting to change or improve their careers, has these same educational opportunities if they wish to take them.
But if one parent wants to stay home with young children, or maybe because they have an occupation or hobbies that they prefer do to from home (such as writers, artists, musicians or just someone who wants to home-school their kids), then our society allows them that free choice.
We do not compel, by regulation or strict social or class structure, that anyone 'has' to live their life the same way as anyone else. An example is Mark Tronson's own extended family - including in-laws – two professional daughters (law and sciences) and one at university (accountancy). A sister and sister-in law who are academic professionals.
His wife Delma, who chose to stay home, but that is not representative either because she worked very hard in our joint missionary ventures. Delma contributes mightily as an equal missionary partner. The nieces are likewise working professionally, in the sciences, the law and in business.
In his case, all the women in their wider family chose not to 'be provided for', but to use their intellect to the betterment of society in general. But the one who is now a mother, making us grand-parents, would prefer now to be at home to raise her own family (while they are young) should that be financially viable.
That's the issue being neglected. Why is there not mass media coverage of the hundreds and thousands of mum's at home being the home maker and value adding to the society by being at home with their tiny tots?
Mark Tronson claims that by only high-lighting with gold banners those who choose to work, illustrates a terrible fraud and malpractice upon the nation. It's nothing to be proud of.
Yet the Sydney Morning Herald was bold enough to publish a research article that demonstrated that many women find the process of house cleaning ''relaxing'', ''satisfying'' and ''therapeutic''. Indeed the sense of being house proud as a "home maker" is a major consideration. (www.smh.com.au)
Proverbs 25 verse 27: "It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory is not glory. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html