Advocacy is at the heart of the work we do at YWCA Canberra, and with the vision of girls and women thriving, we strengthen communities by supporting girls and women through our services and advocacy.

Our advocacy agenda is directly informed by the work that YWCA Canberra undertakes across the ACT, drawing on the evidence and knowledge generated by our programs, services, and the research we undertake.

Policy Priorities

To position the ACT as the leading Australian jurisdiction for progressing gender equality in Australia.

The ACT Government is well positioned to be the leading jurisdiction in gender equality in Australia: the historical gender parity of the legislative assembly; ACT’s propensity to take bold action and to trial social policy solutions; as well as the current bipartisan support we have for gender equality in the Legislative Assembly means that the ACT is ready to lead change.

To place Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) reform on the ACT Government agenda.

One in five ACT children are developmentally vulnerable when entering school. Early Childhood Education is key to creating an equitable and prosperous ACT.

As a member of the Childcare Alliance, we work with a broad range of early childhood education providers to advocate for the equal opportunity of children, particularly those who are most vulnerable and at risk, to have access to high quality ECEC.

To ensure that ACT Government housing policies and programs have a specific focus on women.

The high levels of unmet need for housing to address homelessness in the ACT, disproportionately impacts women: Domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness among women and children and single older women also comprise a rapidly growing cohort facing housing insecurity and the risk of homelessness. We will call on the Government to address this crises through the appropriate provision of housing options for women.

To support vulnerable young people and bridge the digital divide.

It is imperative that the ACT Government takes action to ensure vulnerable and ‘at-risk’ young people receive the support and opportunities they desperately need to participate in the workforce of the future. While in-school education is of the utmost importance, we know that many at-risk young people are alienated by traditional learning approaches. School-based education may also exclude young people already disengaged from education or dealing with difficulties such as bullying at school.

Therefore, it is critical that programs provide a holistic approach, are offered both inside and outside the school system, and work in partnership with community services beyond the school setting.

To find out more, read our policy priorities or opinion pieces and check out our latest campaigns.

YWCA Canberra’s approach to advocacy

1. Partnership and solidarity

We work in partnership with other women’s organisations, and across sectors to progress gender equality.

2. Membership driven

YWCA Canberra wants to see a world where women are leaders in their communities, and participate in decision-making processes on a local, national and international level.

 As a membership organisation, our members play a critical role in building community awareness, taking action and mobilising their own networks to achieve gender equality.

3. Grassroots to the global level

As a member of World YWCA, YWCA Canberra stands in solidarity with women across the world.

We participate in global policy fora such as the Commission of the Status of Women, to ensure that women’s voices are heard at the highest levels of decision making.

4. Legislative and regulatory reform

Gender equality will not just happen organically. It needs to be driven by strong leadership, legislative and regulatory reform, and appropriate resourcing of the ACT Women’s Plan.