17 May 2018
YWCA Canberra has today released a report which highlights the changes that would transform the ACT into the leading jurisdiction in Australia for gender equality. The Leading the Change: The Pathway to Gender Equality report makes a series of recommendations across the four areas YWCA Canberra believes would have the biggest impact on gender equality for ACT girls and women: gender responsive government, equality in the workplace, a life free from violence and housing security.
The release of the report follows the ACT Government’s pre-Budget announcement that it will provide $696,000 over the next four years to implement key actions under the ACT Women’s Plan.
YWCA Canberra’s Executive Director Frances Crimmins welcomed the funding announcement, as the importance of resourcing for the Office for Women and the implementation of the Plan was a key recommendation of YWCA Canberra’s Leading the Change report card, launched in March.
“It’s so important that gender equality is placed at the centre of government decision making, and funding and accountability measures attached to the Plan are an essential part of demonstrating this commitment” Ms Crimmins said.
Key recommendations from the report outline priority actions for the ACT government. These include that the ACT Government:
• streamline strategic oversight of gender equality in the ACT through positioning the Office for Women in the Chief Minister’s directorate;
• enact a Gender Equality Act that is informed by evidence-based international models and includes tangible quotas and targets;
• introduce a long-term strategy for primary prevention, including funding mandatory implementation of Respectful Relationships education (including consent education) for all staff and students from kindergarten to year 12 and university settings; and
• consult with older women, women with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and sole-parent households to develop innovative housing models that meet their unique needs.
“The ACT has a proud history of advancing gender equality – it was the first jurisdiction in Australia to reach gender parity in the Legislative Assembly and the ACT has the highest percentage of women and government boards and committees,” Ms Crimmins said.
“Despite this, there are still critical areas such as women’s housing security and the prevention of domestic and sexual violence that require greater government focus, and through this report
YWCA Canberra aims to continue to play a constructive role in the public conversation to advance gender equality in the ACT.”
“Gender equality is achievable and the ACT government has all the tools necessary to make this a reality in our nation’s capital.”
Media contact: Helen Machalias 0455 655 330