Advocating for a better Canberra, for all

1 November 2016

election-advocacy-wrap-up-blogOver the past twelve months, YWCA Canberra has been focusing our advocacy efforts on ensuring that gender equality and social inclusion have been prioritized in the lead up to the ACT election.

In March, we launched our election advocacy platform, Every woman, every child, every day, calling on the incoming ACT government to take action on 20 key policy issues that are crucial to ensuring Canberra is an inclusive and equitable community.

As we reach the end of the year, with the election now concluded and our new government elected, I am pleased to reflect on the outcomes of our advocacy and share with you the impact of our combined efforts this year.

Following the launch of Every woman, every child, every day, I met with MLAs from all sides of government to highlight the policy asks outlined in the platform, and to discuss possible ways forward. It was a great opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with our political leaders, and I was pleased to see the shared commitment from all MLAs to improving outcomes for all Canberrans.

We further built on our election platform with the release of a scorecard closer to the election, and with ongoing digital and face-to-face advocacy throughout the year.

We also prioritised ensuring our members were able to make informed voting decisions, by profiling the women running for election across all parties on our blog. This culminated in a special ‘Meet the Candidates’ event, which brought women candidates together with our members for an evening of discussion and debate. It was fantastic to hear the conversations around the room on the day, and see democracy in action!

Importantly, through our consistent and collaborative efforts, we have seen some real, meaningful outcomes for the Canberra community. Some outcomes include:

  • ACT Labor included victims of domestic violence within existing anti-discrimination legislation, to ensure women escaping domestic violence are protected for their employment and other services
  • Minister for Women, Yvette Berry, joined our calls for businesses to implement domestic violence leave for employees
  • A funding commitment from the Canberra Liberals to support pathways for young people into science, engineering, arts, technology and mathematics
  • A commitment from the ACT Greens to ensuring housing affordability is addressed in the coming term, with a specific focus on women’s access to housing

Now, as we move into the next term of government, I look forward to continuing to meet with our elected representatives in the coming months.

On behalf of YWCA Canberra, I would like to thank everyone who participated in our events and campaign, for your support. I would also like to thank our outgoing MLAs, and congratulate those newly elected to the Assembly.

You can read more about our advocacy during the 2016 ACT election, and how to stay involved here.

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