7 March 2018

YWCA Canberra has released a report card today assessing the ACT Government’s progress on gender equality since 2016.

The Leading the Change: The Pathway to Gender Equality report card has been released to coincide with International Women’s Day, and highlights that progress has been slow on many key gender equality indicators, such as primary prevention for violence against women, workplace gender equality and sexual harassment.

Frances Crimmins, Executive Director of YWCA Canberra, said the organisation saw gender parity in the ACT Legislative Assembly and the development of an ACT Women’s Plan in 2016 as positive signs, but that ACT women were still waiting to see real outcomes from year one of the ten-year Plan.

“It is concerning that the Plan remains unfunded, with no clear targets or evaluation measures to track progress,” Ms Crimmins said.

“The promised implementation of Gender Impact Statements and rigorous triple bottom line assessments with a gendered focus would demonstrate that the ACT Government recognises that gender inequality cuts across all areas of the Government’s work.”

The Report Card also provides policy recommendations to create an equitable ACT, with a focus on primary prevention to eliminate violence against women and girls through the mandatory Respectful Relationships education that exists in other states. Other key asks include a commitment to working with universities to end endemic sexual assault and harassment on campus, and increased funding for specialised women’s services.

Ms Crimmins welcomed progress in some important areas, including funding to develop the Family Safety Hub and the introduction of a behavioural change program for men at risk of using violence. The ACT Government has also made it illegal to discriminate against someone who is being subjected to domestic or family violence and criminalised the sharing of intimate text images without consent.

“YWCA Canberra have created this report card based on a belief that the ACT can be the leading jurisdiction for gender equality in Australia, and we will continue to monitor the implementation of the Plan and support the ACT Government to push for progress.”

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Media contact: Helen Machalias 0455 655 330

DOWNLOAD: Media release – time for the ACT to lead the change for gender equality 

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