7 March 2024

Working For Women: A Strategy For Gender Equality

Australia’s largest alliance of women’s organisations, the Equality Rights Alliance (ERA), has congratulated the Albanese Government and the Minister for Women, Katy Gallagher, on the release of Working for Women: A Strategy For Gender Equality.

“ERA welcomes the release of the National Strategy for Gender Equality, which is Australia’s first in more than 30 years,” said Helen Dalley-Fisher, Convenor of the Equality Rights Alliance. “After decades of neglect, we finally have a coordinated national approach to addressing gender inequality.”

Progress to gender equality in Australia has been slow, with women still lagging behind men on a wide range of indicators across health, education, earnings, economic stability, unpaid work, safety and discrimination. A comprehensive National Strategy on Gender Equality was a recommendation of the UN’s CEDAW Committee in 2018, and comes at a time when women in Australia and internationally are calling for deep structural change to our economies, our workforces and our legal, health and education systems to eliminate in-built inequalities.

“Over the last 20 years we have had a have had a piecemeal approach to gender equality in Australia. As women have identified specific problems, individual policies and laws have been created with mixed results. We’ve had Women’s Health Plans, workforce strategies, skills strategies, housing targets, gender responsive budgeting and two National Plans to End Violence Against Women and Their Children,” said Helen Dalley-Fisher. “Each of these are vital and were hard won, but each effectively operates in a silo. A National Strategy is a chance to bring this work together.”

ERA particularly welcomes the commitment to change in our focus areas of women’s economic security and leadership. “This Strategy has the potential to improve engagement with gender equality across all federal ministries and build a Parliament and a public service which have the necessary skills to understand and address the needs of women. Many Departments currently have a limited ability to identify and address gender-blindness in their policies and legislation. The regular reporting requirements in the Strategy will be key to building gender capacity across government,” said Helen Dalley-Fisher. ‘We also welcome the Strategy’s recognition of the important role to be played by communities, particularly women’s organisations.”

ERA is looking forward to the next two essential steps on the road to gender equality in Australia. “We now need to see action plans or other concrete steps across government to make the goals of the National Strategy a reality. Those actions need to be funded adequately, which means no gender-gaps in funding, especially for wages for women workers. We also need to see a national charter of human rights, which will bring the work on gender equality into a broader framework which supports a fairer Australia.”


For more information and interviews, please contact Helen Dalley-Fisher on 0413 065 822.  

Equality Rights Alliance (ERA) is Australia’s largest network of organisations advocating for women’s economic security and women’s leadership. We bring together more than 70 organisations with an interest in advancing gender equality at the national level. You can find more information about us and our work at www.equalityrightsalliance.org.au or on X/Twitter: @eraaustralia and Linked In: Equality-rights-alliance.



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