9 September 2016
YWCA Canberra has welcomed policy announcements from the Canberra Liberals and the ACT Greens today to boost much needed support for women and young people in the community.
Yesterday, the ACT Greens released their policy to tackle violence against women, which outlines a range of measures including a triple bottom line gender analysis of all legislation and programs; two million dollars in funding over four years to implement primary prevention programs across all primary and secondary schools in Canberra; and a two million dollar increase in funding for women’s crisis accommodation services over the next four years.
YWCA Canberra Executive Director Frances Crimmins said that the inclusion of a solid commitment to primary prevention initiatives demonstrated an understanding of the root causes of violence against women.
“We know that to address violence against women in the long-term, evidence-based, properly funded primary prevention programs for young people is crucial.
“We need to reach out to young people to educate them about the impact of gender inequality, and provide them with the knowledge and tools to develop respectful relationships.”
This coincides with an announcement from the Canberra Liberals yesterday for greater support for the YWCA Clubhouse, an innovative learning space for young people in Tuggeranong to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).
“I was very pleased to hear Nicole Lawder, Shadow Minister for Families and Community Services announce a commitment of $250,000 over four years to upgrade our facilities and support the ongoing operational aspects of the program.
“It is heartening to see the Liberal Party make a renewed commitment to address the digital poverty that impacts many young Canberrans.” Ms Crimmins said.
The YWCA Clubhouse has more than 160 members, of which over 25% are female, and approximately 15% of which are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
Ms Crimmins added, “With the support of the community, private and government sectors we hope to reach many more young people, to ensure they have the opportunity to learn these critical skills, and develop careers in STEAM.”
In March this year, YWCA Canberra launched an election advocacy platform, Every woman, every child, every day, calling on the next ACT Government to prioritise gender equality, support for children and young people, and community inclusion over the coming three years.
“We have worked with all sides of government over the past six months to ensure that these issues are on the priority list of all parties. It’s wonderful to see that sustained advocacy from the community sector is getting these crucial issues on the agenda during the election,” said Ms Crimmins.
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Frances Crimmins is available for interview.
Media contact: Joanna Le, 0450 962 842, Joanna.Le@ywca-canberra.org.au