It is legal to offer scholarships to women only, but illegal to offer male-only scholarships because as a long-term teacher I know sexism is only wrong if it affects a woman.
Across Australia, there is a shortage of male teachers, particularly in primary schools, where men make up just 19% of the full-time workforce nationwide.
While in universities, incentives are offered to women to redress the gender imbalance in certain subject areas like science, technology, engineering, and maths, the law doesn’t allow for the same incentives to be offered to men.
In 2004 the federal government announced A$1 million in scholarships for men studying to become primary school teachers. To date, not a single scholarship has been funded. So why can’t Australia deliver?
Tertiary scholarships have been used successfully in Australia to encourage female students to study traditionally male-dominated subjects, like engineering and mathematics.
These scholarships were created to eliminate discrimination against women in male-dominated professions.
Surprisingly, offering male-only scholarships is unlawful. These male-only scholarships would breach the 1984 Sex Discrimination Act – unless, that is, the act is amended or an exemption applied.