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in brief: the findings of mission Australia’s annual youth survey released

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The findings from Mission Australia’s annual youth survey of the concerns of around 15 000 young people aged 15-19 have been released. The aim of the survey is to ‘explore what young people value, their issues of concern, where they turn for support, their engagement in community activities and feelings about the future.’ And this year, it’s a cracker.

In a feminist-hell-yeah moment, the survey found that for the first time young women identified gender equity and discrimination as the number one issue facing the nation.

Many are putting this down to the rise and fall of Julia Gillard as Australia’s first female Prime Minister, and the impact her at times horrific treatment in the media and beyond has had on young women.

So many young people (24.1 per cent, according to the survey) identifying gender equity and discrimination as a major national issue arguably indicates a surge in public sympathies with feminist ideas and values, which is good to see in a cultural climate where these kinds of issues have oft been ignored as ‘already dealt with’ debates. Postfeminism yo.

The study also found that (surprise, surprise) young women list body image as a higher concern than young men – A whopping 42.1 per cent compared to 14.4 per cent).

For the second year in a row, Australia’s young people listed the economy and career prospects as the biggest issues they face. According to Mission Australia ‘one in four young Australians believe there are insufficient opportunities in their local community for employment and job training after high school.’

Kids these days are also crazy stressed over study commitments and family conflict. But all is not lost, the majority of both males and females were positive about the future, with young men being slightly more likely to be ‘very positive’ about the future than women (21.5>16.9).

Download the full results of the Mission Australia Youth Survey 2013 here.

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