Battle of the sexes continues in Australia

By Kelly Emmerton ·

Gender equality is a closer goal than it might have been decades ago, but remains a hot topic with divergent statistics in areas like education, work, health and lifestyle, according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In regards to health, women reported higher levels of psychological stress and were less likely to lead an active lifestyle, although sedentary or low exercise levels were high in both genders - 69% of women and 61% of men.

Men were still more likely to be obese (71% compared to 56% of women) and more than twice as likely to consume harmful amounts of alcohol (24% compared with only 9%). Mozo’s vice calculator shows it could be costing them more than their health, with even a $25 a week alcohol habit potentially costing $1,300 each year.

RELATED: 5 practical steps for women who want to take control of their finances

Divergent attitudes also emerged between genders in the choices young Australians made in regards to education after school. Lisa Conolly, Director of Family and Community Statistics at the ABS said that 34% of women aged 18-24 were studying for a Bachelor Degree or higher, as opposed to 28% of men in the same age bracket. Men were more likely to study for a Certificate III or IV qualification (9.5% compared to 6% of women).

Slightly less women than men were employed or studying full time, however, with 29.5% of women aged 20-24 either working or studying part-time or not at all, as opposed to 23.4% of men.

Despite this, Conolly said there was a gradual trend toward more women occupying leadership positions in the workforce. "Women held 41% of senior executive roles and just under 48% of executive level roles in the APS in 2015," she said.

Even so, men were more likely to have paid leave entitlements, with only one in ten men from employed couples with children missing out, as opposed to one in five women. For employed single mothers, it was even worse, with over a quarter having no paid leave.

On the other hand, men were more likely to have a mortgage - 28.1% of women owned their own home outright, while just 25% of men did. That still leaves many Aussies of both genders tackling mortgage repayments each month, and Mozo recommends reviewing home loans on a regular basis, to ensure homeowners are getting the best possible deal.

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