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  • 24 Jun 2022 5:57 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    In this extract from Kristine Ziwica’s soon-to-be-released book, she explores how moving from career feminism to care feminism will help reshape Australia’s economy.  She begins her article in Smart Company with a 2021 National Press Club speech by Sam Mostyn, an independent company director, long-time women’s advocate and President of Chief Executive Women.  Rather than focussing on career women as expected, Sam spoke about the care economy – health care, disability care, child care and aged care – where there is a predominance of women and a dismal level of pay, despite these being key frontlines in the COVID-19 pandemic. BPW Australia has been at the forefront of advocating for the care economy since before 2012.

    In this long but very readable extract, Kristine documents how these feminised sectors are undervalued and welcomes the current focus on the care economy.

  • 15 Jun 2022 5:52 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Many women face online abuse simply because they have an active online presence as part of their working life. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner (Australia) has produced a research report, Women in the Spotlight, which documents women’s experiences with online abuse in their working lives.

    This research highlights women’s lived experiences of online abuse, and points to the need for greater action by online platforms and employers to prevent and respond to abuse. It is informed by in-depth interviews with 20 women who had experienced online abuse and an online survey involving 1491 women working in different sectors including law, banking, marketing, journalism and community services. It found women were retreating from online spaces and lowered their public profiles because of online abuse.

    The key findings:

    One in three women surveyed experienced online abuse in a work context. Rates of abuse were even higher for women with a public online or media profile and younger women.

    The women reported harassment, doxing and trolling, mostly on social media.  Many talked about the negative impact it had on their mental wellbeing and personal confidence.

    Many women took a backwards step professionally, avoided leadership positions and stopped discussing topics they felt were inflammatory as a result of the abuse.

  • 05 Jun 2022 1:36 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Women were everywhere and nowhere in the 2022 federal election.  The message from the election was that the things that really matter to women and their communities matter at the ballot box, too. Even if they were not part of the conversations the major parties were having.

    Associate Professor Camilla Nelson from the University of Notre Dame in Western Australia examines the ALP’s election promises and cautions what we should be watching and advocating for. She cautions that an effective gender agenda needs to take account of the diversity of women’s interests. Women are not a single voting block or socially homogeneous group so policy analysts must recognise that diversity is not a politically marginal issue but simply a description of mainstream Australian society.

  • 12 May 2022 6:28 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)



    Media Release 12th May 2022

    As Australia commences its pre-poll voting, women across the country are astounded and appalled that issues relating to gender equality, including women’s safety and economic security, have failed to make the core agenda of the 2022 Federal Election or the conversation amongst our leaders.

    With 12.8 million women in Australia, making up just over 50% of Australia’s population, the parties have so far said very little, if anything, about how they intend to address the issues affecting such a major group of voters.

    Today, the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC), an independent non-partisan organisation representing over 500,000 women across 24 industry and community sectors, releases its Australian Federal Election 2022 AGEC Women’s Scorecard.

    The scorecard provides a star rating on how the six major parties running in the 2022 Federal Election have announced they will address the issues surrounding women, based on the parties’ published policy platforms. It includes the development of a National Gender Equality Strategy, free universal childcare, safety and respect for women, women’s economic security and achieving parity in women’s representation and leadership in Australia.

    Chair of AGEC, Ms Coral Ross AM, said that despite two years of demonstrating, lobbying, and providing evidence-based solutions to government, we are perplexed that gender equality has not been at the top of the agenda in this election campaign. 

    “The AGEC Women’s Scorecard, at this point in the election campaign, acknowledges the superior stance of The Greens and the Australian Labor Party in addressing some of the issues relating to women, with The Liberal and National Parties demonstrating very little policy improvement initiatives and One Nation and the United Australia Party showing none,” Ms Ross said.

    “It is our hope with the release of this scorecard that women take the time to review what each party will do to support their needs and vote accordingly,” she said.

    AGEC is a national, non-government, not for profit organisation, representing over 500,000 women across 24 industry and community sectors, advocating and producing research to respond to the unacceptably slow pace of change towards gender equality in Australia.

    AGEC stands ready to assist and advise the government on implementing a comprehensive gender equality strategy and program of policies.

    Read the complete Federal Election 2022 AGEC Women's Scorecard 

    For more information, please contact: Coral Ross AM: 0438 005 225 chair@agec.org.au www.agec.org.au @ausgenderequal

  • 22 Apr 2022 5:49 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Australia has never had a national strategy on gender equality – one which comprehensively identifies and seeks to address all aspects of gender inequality as set out in AGEC’s Gender Equality Manifesto. AGEC has set out 29 recommendations under the following 5 key priority areas that parties and candidates need to address in the federal election:

    • 1.    Free universal childcare
    • 2.    Safety and respect for women
    • 3.    Women representation and leadership
    • 4.    Women's economic security, and
    • 5.    A National Strategy on Gender Equality

    AGEC asserts that only when a comprehensive National Strategy is established by Government in collaboration with business and the broader community will Australia accelerate its pathway to achieving gender equality.

  • 19 Apr 2022 8:43 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)


    Media Release 19 April 2022

    Women must remain a priority in the 2022 Federal Election.

    As the major parties focus their election campaigns on winning over marginal seats, Australian women eagerly await each party’s announcement on how they intend to address the urgent issues surrounding gender equality.

    With 12.8 million women in Australia, making up just over 50% of Australia’s population, the parties have so far said little about how they will address the issues affecting such a major group of voters.

    Chair of the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC), Ms Coral Ross AM, is calling on the parties and candidates to announce how they will address the issues surrounding women including childcare, safety and respect for women, women’s economic security and achieving parity in women’s representation and leadership in Australia.

    “Despite two years of demonstrating, lobbying, and providing evidence-based solutions to government, we are yet to see the development of a comprehensive National Gender Equality Strategy that addresses the complex systemic changes required to improve the lives of Australian women,” Ms Ross said.

    Today, AGEC announces its key priorities and recommendations for what it believes electoral candidates should be targeting to demonstrate their commitments to women as part of a new government.

    Ms Ross said that the new government’s first major priority, as part of a National Gender Equality Strategy, should be to introduce free universal childcare, which is now widely acknowledged as a key driver of women’s workforce participation and economic growth.

    “Women’s economic security is significantly hampered because women undertake a disproportionate share of family and caring responsibilities and the cost of childcare is prohibitive for many women” Ms Ross said.

    “The Grattan Institute estimates a universal subsidy set at 95% of childcare costs would cost Government $12 billion but it would boost GDP by $27 billion a year. Clearly, free universal childcare would produce a net positive benefit to the economy,” she said.

    AGEC’s Election Priorities also seek urgent action on safety and respect for women.

    One woman dies every 11 days in Australia and countless more are impacted by family, domestic and sexual violence.

    Ms Ross says as well as the physical and mental effects this has on women, their children and communities, the economic impact of this violence is estimated at over $26 billion each year.

    “To address this, the next government needs to prioritise materially greater investment into short and long-term services that support victims as well as change programs including consent, addressing gender role stereotypes and offender support programs,” Ms Ross said.

    “They should also commit to the adoption of all 55 recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect @Work report,” she said.

    Finally, women’s economic security and representation and leadership needs to be prioritised. AGEC reports that the Total Remuneration Gender Pay Gap continues to remain stubbornly high at 22.8% and represents pay disparity in Australia’s largely gender segregated economy. So called ‘Women’s Work’ continues to be undervalued and underpaid in Australia.

    The Gender Pension Gap is also increasing with women currently retiring with 23.4% less superannuation than men and the homelessness rate for women over 55 being the highest rate of increase of any age group.

    In addition, while Australian women were the first in the world to allow women to stand for public office, today the World Economic Forum notes that Australia stands at 54th out of 155 countries for women’s political empowerment and has declined from 15th in the world in 2005 to 50th in the world today, on measures of gender equality.

    Managing Director of AGEC and Director of the AIBE Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace, Associate Professor Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons describes these statistics and the past government’s handling of these issues as totally unacceptable, damaging to the interests of women and severely undermines not only Australia’s moral standing in the world, but its ability to compete economically.

    “The next government needs to commit to the development of a National Gender Equality Strategy as soon as possible to tackle what is a complex set of problems with entrenched gender stereotypes at the heart of the issue,” Dr Fitzsimmons said.

    “They should take into consideration examples from leading gender equality nations, gender balance in all Budget expenditure and policy and program decisions, interventions to increase the proportion of women with relevant experience in key decision-making roles in Government and non-government organisations, and explicitly address the gender issues in the National School Curriculum,” he said.

    AGEC is a national, non-government, not for profit organisation, representing over 500,000 women across 25 industry and community sectors, advocating and producing research to respond to the unacceptably slow pace of change towards gender equality in Australia.

    AGEC stands ready to assist and advise the government on implementing a comprehensive gender equality strategy and program of policies.


    About the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC)

    AGEC is a non-government, not for profit organisation – a peak body across a wide range of industry and community sectors advocating for gender equality. We use an evidence-based approach to highlight the facts, the benefits of change, and to ensure initiatives achieve long-term, sustainable change. We have a strong social media and online presence that focuses on building awareness across the community of the need for change with messages that connect with everyone. We operate on an entirely voluntary basis and rely on grassroots and in-kind funding. For more information on AGEC see our website www.agec.org.au

    Member Organisations of the Australian Gender Equality Council

    Australasian Women in Emergencies Network (AWEN)

    Australian Federation of Business & Professional Women (AFBPW)

    Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA)

    Australian Women Lawyers (AWL)

    Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA)

    Economic Security for Women (eS4W)

    Elevate Her Australia (EHA)

    Engineers Australia Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA)

    National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

    Women in Super (WIS)

    National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO)

    National Rural Women's Coalition (NRWC)

    Older Women’s Network (OWN)

    Tradeswomen Australia (TWA)

    Transport Women Australia (TWA)

    Women and Leadership Australia (WLA)

    Women for Election Australia (WFEA)

    Women in Automotive (WinA)

    Women in Aviation Australian Chapter (WAI)

    Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF)

    Women in Digital (WID)

    Women in Gaming & Hospitality (WGA)

    Women in Technology (WIT

  • 07 Apr 2022 1:32 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The official Budget Overview includes a dedicated page for women. The Women’s Budget Statement is a separate budget booklet with sections on women's safety, economic security and health and wellbeing. 

    The National Foundation of Australian Women applied a gender lens to the 2022 election budget, noting that the $2.1 billion allocated to initiatives to support women and girls, dispersed over several years, amounts to no more than 0.3% of total expenditure. NFAW noted the Women’s Budget Statement provides a gender-focused analysis in areas of direct relevance to women but does not provide a gender impact assessment across the entirety of all budget measures. Applying a gender lens across all areas of expenditure and revenue measures, through the process of Gender Responsive Budgeting, would provide more comprehensive analysis and support more gender equitable policy development.

    The Women's Safety section focuses on prevention as a women’s issue, with targeted efforts for key populations. Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, observes that it never mentions men as central to this work – despite the fact that prevention strategies are absolutely critical to reducing violence against women, we need men to be a core part of this, and we need to name the problem of men’s violence.


  • 19 Mar 2022 5:48 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The UN Commission on the Status of Women is on now. CSW66 side events are held virtually and accessible to women all over the world.  Here is a link to access them – review the topics and you will find many that are relevant to BPW.

    There are relevant expert presentations and forums most days, and they are accessible online. On Tuesday 22 March there will be a CSW66 side event titled Gender Equality and the Empowerment of All Women and Girls: Progress and Challenges in Monitoring the SDGs from a Gender Perspective.  There is background paper, called a Concept Note, here.

  • 13 Mar 2022 9:43 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Nearly 1 million Australians are living in severe poverty, impacting women much more severely than men, a new report has revealed.

    The report released by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, shows how the pandemic has seen housing costs in Australia rise to “unmanageable levels”, a situation that has left many struggling to pay for basics like food and household bills.

    High rents have increased poverty levels among renters, with the poorest families in Australia scraping by on less than $150 per week after housing costs. An investment in social housing is one of the most important decisions governments could make to fight poverty, according to the report. The report states that an increase of $25 per day in the JobSeeker base rate combined with $30 per week extra in rent assistance “would virtually eliminate severe poverty” in Australia.

  • 06 Mar 2022 11:22 AM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

    AGEC MEDIA RELEASE 28 February 2022

    Australian Gender Equality Council calls on the Prime Minister to take decisive action.

    The Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC) today calls on the Prime Minister, National Cabinet and every elected Member of Parliament to take decisive action to end gendered violence and promote gender equality across Australia.

    AGEC supports the many women, girls, men and boys who yesterday marched in the multiple March4Justice events that took place across Australia.

    AGEC, a national not-for-profit organisation representing over 500,000 women in the workplace, was formed to respond to the unacceptably slow pace of change towards gender equality in Australia.

    Chair of AGEC, Ms Coral Ross said all people must be respected and be safe from the threat of violence and sexual harassment.

    “We at AGEC, and our members, are very disappointed that here we are, one year on from the last March4Justice, with little to no change - despite submissions, a National Women’s Summit and a report handed down from a Human Rights Commission Inquiry,” Ms Ross said.

    “Now is the time for real change, the time to establish a robust and sustainable framework within government for achieving true gender equality and safety for women", she said.

    “We once again call on the Federal Government to implement all 55 recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report and ratify the Convention on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work".

    "We also urge them to introduce a more robust Women’s Budget statement (accompanying Federal budgets), a gender analysis of all government policies and to legislate a Federal Gender Equality Act – with all Australian Parliaments to be gender equal by 2030".

    Only by implementing these measures and taking decisive action will we redress Australia’s unacceptable gender imbalance and inequity.

    AGEC stands ready to assist and advise the government on implementing a comprehensive gender equality program.

    ENDS

    For more information, please contact: Coral Ross AM: 0438 005 225 chair@agec.org.au

    Member organisations of the Australian Gender Equality Council

    1 National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

    2 Australian Federation of Business & Professional Women (AFBPW)

    3 Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA)

    4 Australian Women Lawyers (AWL)

    5 Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA)

    6 Women in Super (WIS)

    7 Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA)

    8 Women in Digital (WID)

    9 Women and Leadership Australia (WLA)

    10 Transport Women Australia (TWA)

    11 Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (ACLW) 

    12 Women in Aviation Australian Chapter (WAI)

    13 Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF)

    14 National Rural Women's Coalition (NRWC)

    15 National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO)

    16 Women in Technology (WIT)

    17 Women in Gaming & Hospitality (WGA)

    18 Economic Security for Women (eS4W)

    19 Older Women’s Network (OWN)

    20 Women for Election Australia (WFEA)

    21 Engineers Australia

    22 Tradeswomen Australia (TWA)

    23 Women in Automotive (WinA)

    24 Elevate Her (Lean in)

    25 Australasian Women in Emergencies Network (AWEN)

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BPW Australia Newsletter Archive

Past editions of BPW Australia's electronic newsletters can be viewed as a PDF - see below.

Current editions of the quarterly e-magazine Madesin can be accessed here.


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2013

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