School-aged sexism: 98 per cent of girls feel unfairly treated compared to boys

Almost all Australian girls feel they are treated unfairly compared to boys, a survey has found.

Ninety-eight per cent of Australian school aged girls believe they are treated unfairly when compared to the treatment of boys who are the same age, a survey commissioned by Plan International has found. 

The children's chairty surveyed 1700 girls all aged between ten and 17, with 98 per cent claiming unfair treatment. 

Plan International Deputy CEO Susanne Legena said small instances of unfair treatment based on gender should not be overlooked. 

She cited girls doing more household chores than boys and teachers allowing boys to get away with more in the classroom. 

"Maybe they are small things but they add up to a sense that you are valued less, that you are not as valued as boys and men, and I think it shapes your worldview and the kinds of things that you think you can be up for."

The survey also found that as girls get older their confidence decreases. 

For girls who 10 years old, 56 per cent felt confident while only 44 per cent of girls aged 17 had the same feelings.

In adults, only 27 per cent of women revealed they felt confident.

Since the survey, Plan International has called for a ban on sexist advertising and the introduction of gender neutral uniforms at schools.

"It would contribute to boys as well not being bombarded with images of girls only being a sexual being and not a person of character and ability," Ms Legena said.

They have also called for girls to be allowed to wear pants at school instead of dresses if they desire. 

Jacqueline Rousselot, 17, attends an Anglican girls school. 

She has been fighting for gender neutral uniforms during her time there. 

"Rather than this idea that they should sit on the side and watch, they can participate in sport, they can feel comfortable they can sit how they want without worrying about how they look to other people," Ms Rousselot said. 

"I think having that idea in your mind can increase confidence level, activity, physical activity and overall it creates that idea that you are equal to the boys you're being educated beside."

'Stop telling us we can't': Girls fight gender exclusion 

Students are often told they can do anything and the world is in their hands, but many students feel outside the classroom they're too often told what they cannot do instead. 

Some female students of St Clare's Catholic High School in Sydney's west said they were tired of being told they couldn't paticipate in activities because they were a girl. 

Year 10 students at St Clare's Catholic High School.
Year 10 students at St Clare's Catholic High School are determined to stand up to gender inequality.
SBS World News

Year 10 student Renee Mercado hears it from her guy friends.

"When I try to do something boy-like then they're always like 'Renee, you're such a tomboy' and I'm always like: 'Well then what's the definition of a girl to you?'," she told SBS News.  

"And then at home and like on family outings I'm always told to act like a girl and sit properly."

Vitryona Vaifale, 15, said it was something she often experienced on the sports field. 

"I wanted to play football and some people in my community told me 'oh you can't play football because of you're a girl'. When I heard I couldn't play football it's like 'but it's what I like to do,' it's what I want to do but if you're putting me down like that, I can't do that."