• 10 Apr 2021 1:47 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    This month, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, in partnership with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, released their Gender Equity Insights Report 2021.

    The report shows that, although progress has been made in recent years to reduce the gender pay gap in Australia, it will still take more than 25 years to close it.

    WGEA Director, Libby Lyons, said the report highlighted the importance of Australian businesses taking action to improve gender equality outcomes.  She expressed her concern that the findings of last year's WGEA dataset showed that progress on gender equality had stalled in Australian workplaces, and that the report reveals a worrying level of apathy and indifference among many Australian employers towards improving gender equality outcomes in their organisations.

  • 04 Apr 2021 12:09 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks 156 countries against four key dimensions – economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment – and then tracks each country’s progress over time. It’s first report was produced in 2006.

    In the 2021 insight report, we find Australia has fallen behind in every major dimension measured by the Global Gender Gap Index, except for educational attainment for women, where Australia has maintained its number 1 ranking.

    Since 2006, Australia has fallen from 12th to 70th in economic participation and opportunity, from 57th to 99th in health and survival, and from 32nd to 54th in political empowerment. With an overall ranking of 50 – down from 15 in 2006, Australia sits well behind the United States at 30, Canada at 24, the UK at 23, France at 16, South Africa at 18 and Mexico at 34.  Find Australia’s results detailed on pp103-104.

  • 05 Mar 2021 5:27 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    BPW members are featuring in presentations and panels during global CSW NGO Forum.  Check the schedule here.

    BPW Western Australia member Carol Hanlon is hosting a session on Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs through the Sustainable Development Goals on 16 March 6.30pm-8.30pm WDST. The panel features women entrepreneurs and NGOs from around the world who have applied the SDGs to provide economic opportunities and make a difference in the lives of women and girls. Registration is free, contact Carol for details.

    BPW International President Dr Amany Asfour and Vice President Dr Catherine Bosshart will speak about Economic empowerment through public procurement and financial inclusion on 22 March 8:30pm-10:00pm ACDT.

  • 28 Feb 2021 11:06 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The face-to-face Congress planned for Florida in 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19, but BPW International is holding a virtual General Assembly over 8 days between 21 and 30 March that all BPW members can connect with. Take this opportunity to witness the highest level of BPW in action, and to share this experience with your BPW sisters across the globe.

    The General Assembly needs to accommodate timezones around the globe, so sessions will be a limited number of hours.  Times have not yet been announced, but for Australia sessions may be broadcast early in the morning or late into the night. 

    This will be a truncated General Assembly to deal with core BPW International business – the budget, the election and urgent resolutions. BPW Australia, being an Affiliate Federation of BPW International, is entitled to 3 voting delegates and 3 alternate delegates at the General Assembly. 

    Members can register as observers without speaking or voting privileges on the Registration page.  You need to set up a login to access the page, and the cost to register is €20.  Registration is open now and closes on 7 March. You will able to connect to the General Assembly sessions and watch the live broadcast. 

  • 22 Feb 2021 11:32 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women will be run virtually this year, which means that all of us can access the NGO Forum that’s held in conjunction with CSW each year.

    The Forum will run from 14 to 26 March 2021, but there are online preparatory workshops and training tutorials – some of these are accessible already.  The CSW platform allows BPW members internationally to register and link up with BPW members around the globe and with women from other NGOs.  You will be able to livestream the CSW sessions and join interactive workshops.  There is a parallel Youth Leaders platform that I encourage our Young BPWs to engage with.

    First you need to register as an advocate which is quite easy.  There is a useful 5 minute tutorial for advocates video that shows how and what to access: https://ngocsw65forum.us2.pathable.com/

  • 14 Feb 2021 9:33 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Hon Dr Susan Ryan AO was the first Minister for Women in Australia, and possibly worldwide, and gave us the Sex Discrimination Act in 1984.  Before she died last year, Susan wrote a legacy paper documenting the rise of feminism in Australia and the social and economic revolution for women in the 1970s, building on a 2019 seminar

    Susan was a Minister in a Labor government, and her focus is naturally on the Labor years of 1972-1975. However, she tells a compelling story that was lived for real by many of our longterm BPW members who will find this a stirring read full of the names of women we knew and policy platforms BPW still advocates for.

    For those who weren’t there, this informative report provides means to develop an understanding of the heady days when women's voices were first heard and great strides were made for women's equality.  Although since then we’ve been battling to hold onto those gains and move forward, Susan’s story is positive and uplifting and I commend it to you all. 

  • 07 Feb 2021 11:27 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    In 2018, the EU, UN Women and the ILO joined forces to promote economic empowerment of women at work in G7 countries through the WE EMPOWER-G7 Programme based on the Women's Empowerment Principles. UN Women has collated evidence of emerging practice in the private sector, and of effective policymaking in the public sector into a booklet. It shares stories of innovative and successful women entrepreneurs, governments and companies working together to promote gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. This video is a resource for clubs to illustrate the value of the WEPs.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how disparities and inequalities persist and grow in health and economic crises.  Working towards gender equality does not cease in the wake of a pandemic. To the contrary, we need to do more, to stand up, speak out and act, which is what WE EMPOWER did and will continue to do. WE EMPOWER helps women achieve financial independence, the key to true freedom and equality.

    Collaborating across sectors is critical in creating change. WE EMPOWER’s partnerships with the private sector is a success story, reporting remarkable progress on gender inclusive policies and increasing commitment to the WEPs. WE EMPOWER’s message of women’s economic empowerment and gender equality is being reiterated around the world, and it will be important to keep it high on the international agenda.

  • 31 Jan 2021 1:17 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The Centre for Future Work reports that Australia’s labour market experienced unprecedented volatility during 2020 due to COVID-19 and the resulting recession. In early 2020, employment declined faster and more deeply than in any previous economic downturn, as workplaces were closed.  After May, employment rebounded strongly and the subsequent recovery replaced over 80% of the jobs lost in the initial downturn.  But women suffered disproportionate job losses when the pandemic hit, and that gender gap has not been closed during the rebound. Women’s employment, unemployment, underemployment, and participation all remain significantly weaker than for men.

    They report workers in insecure jobs lost work far more severely than those in standard, permanent positions. The rebound of employment has been dominated by insecure jobs. Casual jobs account for 60% of all waged jobs created and part-time work accounts for 75% of new jobs. Women are heavily concentrated in casual and part-time roles, which were more easily eliminated by employers as the pandemic struck.

    The authors recommend that, in addition to supporting the recovery in overall economic conditions (including through continued income supports), government must also improve the quality and stability of new jobs to offset the terribly unequal impacts of the pandemic. They caution that the government is proposing major legal changes that will reinforce the growing dominance of insecure work through the industrial relations omnibus bill introduced in December  which would liberalise casual work (allowing its use in any position deemed casual by the employer), and allow permanent part-time workers to be treated like casual workers (with costless adjustments in hours and schedules), accelerating the surge of insecure work.

  • 24 Jan 2021 9:54 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda is an optimist. She spent 2019 espousing that 2020 was going to be a landmark year for gender equality. Her book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, argues that men usually set policy, but it’s women who drive progress.

    However, the pandemic hit, and disasters always impact women disproportionately. Gender equality advocates braced for a catastrophic wave of shadow pandemics. Women and girls have borne the brunt of the pandemic, but they have also led the fight against it. Women leaders have proved their worth. Women who make up 70% percent of the world’s health workers. Essential workers—predominantly women—are keeping shelves stocked, families supplied, and children safely playing and learning.  We’ve been looking for a breakthrough that heralds a new and more inclusive kind of policymaking. 

    COVID-19 has shown the failures of our social contract with new clarity, and the world is awake to this. Recent international surveys found that 90% of people want the post-pandemic world to be more sustainable and equitable, and for their economies to be more inclusive.  Maybe COVID-19 will be the breakthrough moment.

  • 17 Jan 2021 9:48 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    AMP’s 2020 Financial Wellness report shows 50% of Australians carry some anxiety about their finances, with women more financially stressed than men.

    Ilaine Anderson in Financy looks at the 3 action areas that can help women improve their financial wellbeing and kick 2021 off to a good start. She recommends women:

    • take action to improve our knowledge and understanding of key financial drivers, including superannuation, debt and cashflow management, insurance and basic investment principles, by tapping into online resources
    • take the time to set goals and put a plan in place to achieve them – connecting finances with goals helps us engage with our finances, and then having a plan to achieve these goals can significantly ease stress
    • as employers and leaders, provide female staff with access to online tools and information/education that can be easily accessed at a convenient time and to education programs which help women understand how they can boost their super balances.

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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