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  • 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)

  • 06 Mar 2022 11:09 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    BPW Australia is a founding member and partner of the Australian Gender Equality Council. AGEC’s founding members collectively represent over 500,000 women and girls.  AGEC’s Manifesto aligns with BPW Australia’s aims and objectives.

    AGEC’s vision is simple – to achieve gender equality in Australia. Through high profile national awareness campaigns, advocacy and research, it aims to drive a cultural shift in Australia so that women and men have the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of the community. AGEC believes that gender equality will be achieved when the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued, respected and are manifest in Australian society.

    AGEC’s objectives are:

    To act as an authoritative and independent voice for gender equality in Australia

    To advocate for and raise awareness of gender equality in Australia

    To develop research driven policy in the area of gender equality in Australia

    To raise awareness of the impact upon gender equality of policy and legislation.

  • 17 Feb 2022 4:21 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    What should women be looking for in the election campaigns of the major parties?  What policy proposals would influence your vote?

    Two quite different national women's organisations have surveyed the views of their membership and provide comprehensive reports that will inform and provoke thinking and discussion.  What are your priorities?

    Chief Executive Women asked their members to rank the 5 most important priorities to address in the next 12-24 months for women in Australia, from a list of 14 options. Women’s economic participation and progression was overwhelmingly rated as most important (91%). This was followed by the care economy (70%), safety in workplaces, homes, and communities (56%), climate change (50%), and economic growth (50%).

    The Women's Electoral Lobby also canvassed members and produced a comprehensive report covering: work; decent incomes for everyone: income adequacy and equality for women; affordable and safe housing for women; women’s health and wellbeing; reducing and eliminating violence against women; strengthening women’s representation; and gender equality in schools, vocational education and training, and early childhood education and care.

  • 06 Feb 2022 11:28 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Flexibility is becoming increasingly recognised as a key enabler of gender equality by organisations across Australia. Making workplaces more flexible and responsive to the needs of employees is a way of attracting and retaining diverse talent, future-proofing the workplace.

    Flexibility in employee work time, patterns and locations benefits both employers and employees and can improve gender equality in the workplace and the home, improve employee wellbeing and reduced exhaustion, burnout, and fatigue.

    This Workplace Gender Equality Agency report finds flexible working during the pandemic has also been associated with improved productivity and more women in leadership, but also a blurring of the lines between work and home.  It could boost women’s workforce participation and more equitable access to male-dominated workplaces and leadership roles.

    Men working from home have experienced the demands of family, care and domestic work, leading to greater appreciation the value of flexible working. This could change gender norms at work and at home for good.

    WGEA data shows that the pandemic has created widespread support for flexible working, amongst employees and employers. Organisations planning a return to the office need to consider how flexible working can be embedded in organisational culture, supported by strong policies and strategies.

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