Olympic Medalist Gets Excited Over A Dress With Pockets, And It's All About Privilege

It's a feeling many women can relate to -- the excitement when you try on a skirt or a dress and it has pockets.

While on 10 daily's panel for International Women's Day (IWD) on Friday, swimming champion Cate Campbell shared what seemed like an innocuous story of trying on a dress.

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She recalled that her boyfriend did not match her enthusiasm.

"I went shopping with my boyfriend the other day and I tried on a dress and I came out and said 'It has pockets!'" she said.

"And he was like 'What?' because he was used to it all the time."

For Campbell, this was a light bulb moment in understanding the privilege she has in life.

The Olympian used the analogy to show that privilege is when a person is used to having something all the time --  like pockets.

It's not a big deal when you get it but it is important to understand the position that others are in, and the things they don't -- and sometimes simply can't --take for granted.

"It kind of clicked for me, and I thought I have all these privileges that I am not even aware of," Campbell said.

"Hang on a second, I'm looking at this through my privileged lens, let me look at it from your perspective and try and be empathetic."

While the joy of women's clothing having pockets seems a trivial matter, the conservation soon turned to the immediate challenges some women continue to face on a daily basis.

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As Network 10 senior journalist Antoinette Lattouf pointed out, it is important for IWD celebrations to remember that people's journeys are vastly different around the world -- and even in Australia.

"What white women or middle class women want, their challenges might be in the boardroom getting to CEO positions," she said.

"In Indigenous communities it is getting decent health care and passing the age of 40.

"For refugee women in western Sydney it's often just getting access to education or support."

Sandra Sully, Cate Campbell, Yvie Jones and Antoinette Lattouf.

These issues do not detract from the importance of women in boardrooms and leadership positions in government, Lattouf said, but she highlighted that the journey ahead for diverse women is steeper.

To mark the occasion, Network 10 partnered with Share the Dignity, a charity that provides menstruation and personal hygiene products to women in Australia experiencing homelessness and poverty.

"One of the reasons we partnered with Share the Dignity is it reminded us all that a primary indignity for a woman is not being able to have access to sanitary products," Sandra Sully, 10 News First presenter and Managing Editor 10 Daily said.

She said IWD is a platform that charities can use to spread the word about women's issues in Australia and around the world.

"We look at our Indigenous sisters who just struggle on so many levels. You've got charities like Share the Dignity that are really trying to make a difference."

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A percentage of proceed's from Sully's book 'Agenda' will be donated to Share the Dignity to provide access for women to sanitary products.

Image: Getty Images

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