Back in 2007, when Elizabeth Broderick first became Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, responsible for promoting gender equality throughout society, her initial focus was – unsurprisingly – on women.
“For the first couple of years, I thought what was going to transform Australian society was really engaging with my wide female network, and elevating women’s voices,” Broderick said. “Women’s collective action has got us the rights that we have today, and I always honour and acknowledge that.”
However, long before engaging men became as popular as it is today – from the UN’s He for She to International Gender Champions in Geneva – Broderick quickly came to believe that real systemic change could not be achieved through women’s efforts alone.
“I started to understand that if we wanted to shift power in the nation – which is what gender equality is partly about – we needed those who held power, and that was largely men.”
Following this realisation, Broderick decided …