Opinion piece by Commissioner Kate Jenkins as published in the Australian Financial Review, 30 July 2014
Did you know that female hurricanes are three times more deadly on average than male hurricanes? You would have expected the opposite, wouldn’t you? That’s the problem. The names of hurricanes alternate between masculine and feminine names. A recent study in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analysed hurricanes excluding Katrina and Audrey. The study found that the gender of a storm’s name affects people’s perceptions of risk and the actions they would take in response. Gender stereotyping assumes hurricane Arthur will be more ferocious than hurricane Dolly. This influences decision-making in preparation for a storm, people being more likely to secure their homes and evacuate for Arthur than Dolly.
Attorney-General Robert Clark joined Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen on Tuesday 15 July to launch the Melbourne Magistrates’ Koori Court.