Based in Canada, but active in over twenty countries, G(irls)20 is a globally active social enterprise developing a new generation of female leaders through education, entrepreneurship and global experiences. In June 2018, Justine Landis-Hanley was selected to represent Australia in this forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina based on her passion for women’s empowerment and gender equality.
A Sydney-based writer and investigative journalist, Justine is a self-confessed feminist, and does not see that empowering women is “putting down men”, rather she sees gender as a spectrum and advocating for women’s rights is part of contributing to human rights and equality across all genders.
Justine became an advocate for gender equality at university when she published an article in her student newspaper exposing the culture of sexual assault and gender discrimination at universities and their colleges. Based on her experience and expertise, Justine has campaigned for digital inclusion to form part of the G(irls)20 communiqué based on the various forms of harassment and discrimination many women face online. This communiqué will be presented at the G20 Economic Forum in Buenos Aires later in November.
Beyond G(irls)20, Justine has big plans for when she returns to Australia to continue to empower women. While she would like to become an investigative reporter specialising in gender equality, Justine plans to continue her advocacy for gender equality through investigative journalism. By sharing her expertise and imparting the necessary skills of journalism, she wants to increase accessibility, participation and acceptance of women in investigative reporting.
“We have seen in Australia recently the important role that investigative reporting has had on affecting change in Australia at a political level,” she said.
“However, this kind of reporting has often seen an unconscious bias towards men as investigative reporters and the self-exclusion by women from this area of journalism. I want to change this by providing investigative reporting training for people of all genders, but focusing in particular on empowering women journalists with the skills and networks to help combat the gendered backlash they disproportinately face for their work.”
For now, Justine is most excited about collaborating with young women from all over the world.
“The opportunity to translate such diverse lived experience into policy recommendations to the G20 is phenomenal,” she said.
“I am excited by the opportunity to collaborate with so many young women leaders.”
She is also thankful for this opportunity and the organisations that have made this summit possible.
“Without this Canadian NGO (Girls20) and such a supportive country such as Canada, we would not have a forum which brings together so many inspirational young women from around the globe to empower other women.”
When asked who she found to be an inspirational woman, she responded, “There is no ‘one woman’ that comes to mind. I find that the most inspirational women are those that are willing to empower other women and pave the way forward for future generations in historically gendered industries.”