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#BalanceforBetter – International Women’s Day 2019

March 8, 2019

Today is International Women’s Day.  

The theme this year is #BalanceforBetter: better the gender balance, better the world.

We strive for the balance of a more equal world; for gender equality in the workplace, in the home, in the playing and broadcasting of sport, in the school class room and even on the playground.  Creating a more equitable world where men and women work and live together as equals.

Women and girls make up over 50% of Australia’s population. It’s been 117 years since Australian women received the right to vote.  35 years have passed since the Sex Discrimination Act came into force, making discrimination on the basis of one’s gender and sexual harassment across various parts of public life against the law.

 

So why is gender inequality still such an issue?

Because in Australia:

  • 1 in 3 women over the age of 15 years of age have experienced physical or sexual violence 1
  • Australian women over the age of 50 years are at greater financial and housing insecurity than older men (older women experiencing homelessness has risen 31% since 2011) 2
  • The average full-time weekly wage for a woman is 15% lower than the average man’s 3
  • Average superannuation balances for women aged 60-64 years were just over half (58%) those of men of the same age 4
  • 95% of primary parental leave (outside of the public sector) is taken by women and women spend almost three times as much time taking care of children each day, compared to men 5
  • On average, women spend 64 per cent of their working week performing unpaid care work, 6
  • spending almost twice as many hours as men each week performing such work 7

The Give Where You Live Foundation seeks to reduce entrenched disadvantage. Key to this goal is creating a more equitable community; one where all people, including women, have the same opportunities to thrive.  While we support many organisations and programs that are working to create a better environment for all people, below are just a few that are particularly targeted at supporting vulnerable women in our community:

Foundation 61 received a $4,400 grant to build confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem and resilience for socially disadvantaged and isolated women.  These women have been affected by life controlling issues including addiction, mental health, family dysfunction, and childhood trauma.  They are working at healing by developing relationships and participating in opportunities for engagement in social and recreational activities.

Geelong Mums received a $10,000 grant to reduce isolation and increase safety for vulnerable babies, children and families across our region.  The Geelong Mums initiative works to provide essential material aid including car seats, cots, high chairs, prams and clothing to families in need.

The University of Melbourne received a $29,800 grant to improve pathways to safety and healing for the Indigenous Wathaurong people who may be experiencing family violence. Through the grant they are working with the local community to co-design a community owned technological resource that encourages risk assessment, prioritisation of needs and safety planning using culture as a source for healing and building resilience.

Barwon Child, Youth & Family received a $30,000 grant to reduce family conflict, a risk factor of, and often a precursor to family violence.  By strengthening family relationships and reducing financial stress through increasing a families’ financial knowledge, literacy, management, skills and resilience through the Strengthening Family Connections Plus initiative.

 

 

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics: Disability, ageing and carers, Australia: Summary of Findings (October 2016)
  2. National Older Women’s Housing and Homelessness Working Group, Retiring into Poverty, 2018
  3. Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender pay gap statistics (February 2018)
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia, Table 01: Labour force status by sex (December 2017)
  5. Australian Bureau of Statistics: Gender Indicators, Australia, employment related and unpaid (September 2017)
  6. Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Unpaid care work and the labour market (November 2016) 
  7. Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Unpaid care work and the labour market (November 2016)