That's how many women and girls there were in Australia at the last population census update. There are more women than men in Australia, as in other developed countries - 197,569 more, to be precise.
Given women make up slightly more than half the Australian population, and assuming our progress through life is the result of our own talents and effort, women should expect to occupy a roughly equal number of leadership positions in our parliaments, our business institutions, our civic and community institutions, on the sports field and in the home. They should expect to be economically equal and financially as well off as men, and to share evenly in the benefits of living in one of the most prosperous and socially cohesive nations on Earth.
Yet, just as in virtually every other society, there is very little in Australia that is shared equally between women and men. Across the life course, from infancy to old age, Australian girls and women struggle to access the same opportunities and rewards as Australian boys and men.
Australia once led the world in the pursuit of gender equality and the rights of women - or, at least, white women. Australian suffragettes were among the most powerful and influential advocates for women in the world, and Australia was the fourth country in the world to enfranchise white women, which it did initially in the Colony of South Australia in 1894 and then nationally at Federation in 1902.
The political and social empowerment of women changed the shape of Australia, but in recent years, Australia's progress towards gender equality has slowed dramatically.
When it comes to the gender inequality gap ... Australia no longer bothers to set targets or measure progress.
The shameful gap between the life chances of First Nations people and settler Australians is widely acknowledged, and although it is measured and reported on annually through the federal government's Closing the Gap initiative, progress to close it remains unacceptably slow. We know we are failing to close the gap for First Nations people because the machinery of government put in place to measure our performance tells us so.
When it comes to the gender inequality gap, though, Australia no longer bothers to set targets or measure progress. In recent years, we have deliberately dismantled the institutions and indices that tracked our performance against the goal of achieving gender equality.
International bodies, however, still produce data that reveals a disturbing picture of the relative wealth, safety, health and power of women in Australia.
The United Nations' Human Development Index measures four indicators of human development - life expectancy, years of schooling, means of schooling and gross national income per capita. Australia ranks very highly in human development, third in the world behind only Norway and Switzerland.
Yet when the UN disaggregates the data used in the HDI along gender lines, we see a shocking result: under the Gender Development Index, Australia's rank is just 42, positioning it at the lower end of first-tier nations in global gender development.
This means that while Australia is a high-performing nation in the development of men, it is not for women. Australian men are benefiting from world-leading living standards, employment and leadership opportunities, but Australian women are not.
The situation of Australian women has deteriorated significantly in recent years. The World Economic Forum, of which Australia is an active member, has, since 2006, produced the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), a highly interactive digital report providing detailed analysis of women's rights in 149 countries.
The GGGI assesses gender equality across four thematic areas: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Within each of these areas, performance is measured against a subset of key indicators.
Since the commencement of the GGGI, Australia has dropped from a ranking of 15th in the world to 44th in 2020 - a decline of 29 places in 14 years. We have fallen 20 places in the last six years alone.
Gendered data matters. Regular, transparent reports on performance against an agreed set of indicators is critical if we are to achieve the goal of gender equality. Without accountability, closing the gender gap in Australia and across the globe will remain merely an aspirational goal, rather than an achievable target.
Per Capita's Measure for Measure: Gender Equality in Australia, released this month, assesses our performance against international indices, and demonstrates the risk to women's social and economic wellbeing due to gender inequality at particular points of life transition.
Our research tracks the life cycle of Australian women, from early childhood through to education, employment, unpaid work, parenting, retirement and old age, and identifies the points at which they fall behind men in terms of their social and economic power. It investigates the impact of violence on women's security and wellbeing, the unequal treatment women receive in our health system, the way women are represented in our society, and how they fare in leadership roles.
Throughout that cycle, gender inequality in Australia has a profound impact on women and girls: no area of a woman's life is immune to its influence.
Gender inequality in Australia is a feminist issue and a matter of human rights protection, but it is also a barrier to Australia's economic growth and potential, with millions of undervalued women blocked from full participation in the Australian market because of cultural barriers to women's leadership and employment. First Nations women across the country suffer this more acutely on every measure, as do women with disabilities, migrant and refugee women, and those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
Gender inequality is a drain on the public purse, with violence against women, particularly in the home, costing the economy billions of dollars. It is also a public health burden, with women experiencing poor health outcomes due to gendered bias in the provision of health care. And, of course, gender inequality reduces our collective wealth and economic growth, with women bearing a disproportionate burden of unpaid work and care for others, leaving them less able to participate fully in the labour force.
It is critical that our leaders recognise the reality and impact of gender inequality in Australia, and commit to a national, bipartisan approach to eliminating it. This requires regular monitoring and reporting against agreed targets, and the production of comprehensive data to track our progress towards a gender equal society.
Ultimately, our goal must be an Australia in which women and girls are able to reach their full potential, and to live lives of equal opportunity to men and boys. Nothing less is good enough.
- Emma Dawson is executive director of independent public policy think tank Per Capita. She is co-author, with Tanja Kovac and Abigail Lewis, of Measure for Measure: Gender Equality in Australia, which was released on Wednesday March 4.