Madeline Price is the extraordinary founder and director of One Woman Project, a youth-lead. non-for-profit organisation focused upon education about and advocacy promoting gender equality.
I was lucky enough to be seated next to Madeline at a conference we recently attended. After just a few minutes of talking, we both exclaimed "I think we're going to be great friends". Madeline is the epitome of a wild woman. While she isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in but she remains approachable and kind with laughter that is just as infectious as her bold personality.
Describe yourself in one sentence.
I am a Law student, a feminist, an activist, the Director of the One Woman Project and I don't understand the purpose of Twitter.
What is your mission or purpose in this life?
I want to see gender inequality eradicated globally, particularly the gaps in education between the genders, the increased instances of gender-based violence and violence against women and an upheaval of the lackadaisical sex education that Australian youth receive.
When do you feel the most like yourself?
When I am water-skiing on Borumba Dam, Imbil.
Can you share with us a moment that changed your life?
I think the first time I became acutely aware of global gender inequality was just after I had graduated high school. I was on an alternative to Schoolies trip to a small town, half an hour out of Kampong Cham in Cambodia, working with the organisation Heartland International. I remember this one particular day, it started just like all the others – the sun was beaming down upon us, sweat was pooling under our legs as we travelled via ‘tuk tuk’ to this remote school coordinated by a well-known aid and development organisation.
When we reached this school, we stepped inside this brand new, white-walled facility and were greeted by twenty-three smiling faces – twenty-three students excited and enthusiastic to be starting school. Twenty-three students who – despite being in the first grade – ranged in ages from five to sixteen. Twenty-three faces dressed in brand new uniforms donated from a school in the United States of America, their navy blue socks pulled up to their knees, tucked-in, pressed white shirts and patent leather shoes as beaming as their smiles. Twenty-three male students.
I remember excusing myself and stepping outside into the main centre of the village, whilst inside the primary teacher demonstrated the boys’ exceptional mathematics skills. I traipsed around the village, taking rudimentary notes on the back of a battered, old plane ticket – I noted down the number of men, women, teenagers, and children that I saw, I asked parents about how many daughters and sons they had, I asked shopkeepers how many customers they served, I asked law enforcement officials how many people of each age and gender they arrested, I talked to every person I could find. And outside, in that village, there were more women than men.
But inside, in that school, there was not a girl in sight.
I made my way back to the school and, with nervous anticipation, asked the primary teacher the most simple, yet most obvious question one could in that situation. “Where are all the girls?” Dom, the primary teacher, his brow creasing with confusion, replied in perfect English “Boys are more valuable to educate.”
When do you feel the most feminine?
When I see other women achieve greatness, success and progress in their own personal or professional lives, or in wider society.
How do you define success?
Success is subjective - one individuals version of success may not be seen as successful by another. For me, success is when I feel proud of myself, when I feel like I have achieved something or made a difference. Success can be as little as securing a new financial donor for an organisation, or as medium as selling out of tickets for an event, or as large as changing societal values. Success is whatever you define it to be.
Define a wild woman.
It means to be passionate, motivated and assertive. It means you can stand by your beliefs, be furious in the face of injustice, and know what you need to do in order to achieve what you want to achieve.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I am passionate about equality - gender equality, equality of opportunity and global equality.
How do you find balance in your life?
Very long to-do lists, mixing work with pleasure (such as having meetings as social events) and loving what you do - because if you love what you do, is it ever really work?
If you could tell all women just one thing, what would it be?
Find your passion.