Making a difference for women worldwide
BPW Australia is a community of women working to end gender inequity. Our members share an interest in the issues that affect working women in Australia and around the world today. BPW Australia is affiliated to BPW International, which has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has expert and experienced representatives accredited to most United Nations agencies.
Gender equity is a basic human right, and its achievement brings socio-economic benefits to everyone. By empowering women, the broader community thrives, increasing positive productivity and growth. However gender inequitiesare still deeply entrenched in every society. Women in all parts of the world experience discrimination in areas from access to decent work, health care and education to occupational segregation. Women continue to be significantly under-represented in political, social and economic decision-making processes in almost every country in the world, and the growing gender wage gap and domestic violence have become intractable problems.
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER
Our advocacy, projects, programs and partnerships focus on issues that affect women and workplaces such as pay inequity, accessible and affordable childcare, lack of support for women’s refuges and domestic violence. Our clubs offer scholarships and bursaries for young women in school and university. We partner with other organisations on international projects and campaigns including International Women’s Day and the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Through our meetings and events, newsletters, personal and professional development programs and other initiatives, we connect and empower women who aspire to do more. Our community includes women in a variety of organisations – from small and medium-sized businesses through to large multinational corporations and from the public and non-profit sectors, as well as women no longer in paid work, influential women leaders, young career women and savvy entrepreneurs running their own show. Our members bring a depth and breadth of expertise and experience; they range in age from 15 to 80 and represent a wide variety of professions, trades and industries.
The root of BPW’s advocacy is embedded in the work with the United Nations. BPW has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and participatory status with the Council of Europe. Each year a large consortium of self-funded BPW members attends the Convention on the Status of Women in New York. On this stage, the governments of the world re-port on gender equity progress. Throughout the year, BPW continues its representation at UN Headquarters in New York, Vienna, Geneva; Council of Europe; European Women’s Lobby with nearly thirty BPW representatives to UN regional offices and agencies. "Each woman, as a citizen, must bring to the national policy of her own country, the contribution of forward-looking and constructive thought followed by determined action. Each woman must dedicate herself to protect and promote the interests of all other women in business and the professions." Quote from the BPW Founder Lena Madesin Phillips. BPW International was awarded a Peace Messenger Certificate from UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar in 1987. Esther Hymer, BPW International representative at the UN, was named as one of three women playing a significant role in the work of the then, UN Commission by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1997.
Every year, we mark Equal Pay Day as a way of drawing attention to the wage gap that exists in most countries between women and men. Our aim is to work towards reducing the damaging and substantial income gap between women and men, and to do this we want to encourage and motivate BPW affiliates all over the world to establish an Equal Pay Day in their own country. Each affiliate’s first task is to put this issue on the public agenda by raising awareness about the issue of equal pay and making ‘wages’ a more acceptable subject of discussion. Only then will a country’s leaders be moved to initiate a policy review.
Launched on International Women's Day, the Women's Empowerment Principles-Equality Means Business suggests seven steps for companies to take to empower women in the workplace and the marketplace. They were launched by the United Nations Development Fund For Women (UNIFEM, part of UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact on March 8th, 2010 based on a multi-stakeholder consultative process. The Women’s Empowerment Principles are subtitled Equality Means Business because the full par-ticipation of women benefits business and by signing the Statement of Support, CEOs will demonstrate leadership on gender equality and women’s empowerment and will encourage fellow business leaders to do the same.
We Make Gender Matter
We lobby government at all levels - local, state and national and consult with business, industry and organisations to provide a gender perspective on key issues.
Our members have the opportunity to influence government decisions on issues important to women by lobbying for policy and legislative change, developing their own skills and experience in the process. We take action to achieve women’s equality in social, economic, community and political terms.
WE HELP WOMAN ACHIEVE
Our focus is on leadership, advocacy, and personal and professional development.
We encourage our members to take advantage of the leadership opportunities in our Clubs as well as nationally and internationally. We also provide support and skills development for women seeking leadership positions in the workplace and in our communities.
We advocate for all working women both employers and employees. We have lobbied on Paid Parental Leave, Equal Pay, childcare issues, taxation reviews and we are a lead agent of Economic Security 4 Women, an alliance reporting to federal government.
We offer a secure environment for women to learn from one another, though mentoring as well as collaborative projects. Clubs also host guest speakers, conduct campaigns and run professional development seminars.
We enable women to develop strong networks locally and nationally, as well as taking advantage of our international connections. Our members share similar goals and challenges, and can rely on our community of like-minded women for encouragement, support and inspiration.
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