Posted in News
CEO Update: Women’s Empowerment
Monday, 29th August 2016
By Heather Nancarrow
As we know, gender, race and economic inequality are significant drivers of violence against women and they have implications for a wide range of social policy initiatives. In the last fortnight I have had the privilege of attending two events where these broader initiatives featured.
First was a Sydney Community Fund lunch to honour Wendy McCarthy AO. In 2013 Wendy was inducted into the Women’s Agenda Hall of Fame for her contribution to the lives of Australian women. Wendy’s contributions to the advancement of Australian women have extended from her work as co-founder of the Women’s Electoral Lobby (NSW) in 1972; through her membership of the National Women’s Advisory Council, the first ever national body to address violence against women; Australian Federation of Family Planning Associations; a taskforce advising on Australia’s child care needs to 2010 and much more. The title of Wendy’s biography “Don’t fence me in” is an apt metaphor for the liberation and advancement of women that has been at the core of Wendy’s life and work.
The second was the NCOSS “New Year for Women” Summit, bringing together women in all their diversity from across New South Wales as well as the CEOs of five National Women’s Alliances. The summit, to consider a draft Action for Women plan, was the culmination of NCOSS’s state-wide consultation. It focussed on four strategic areas that impact economic wellbeing of girls and women across the life span:
1. Financial literacy
Following on from this theme, I was delighted to accept an invitation to present a keynote address at the United Nations Association of Australia’s National Forum on “The Economic Empowerment of Women and Girls” on 5th September. The consultative forum themes will include women’s economic empowerment in contexts of family violence, and the economic empowerment of Indigenous women and girls.
In the coming days ANROWS will be making a submission to the South Australian Government’s Domestic Violence Discussion Paper. It focuses on justice responses, including consideration of a domestic violence disclosure scheme, to enable information about a partner’s domestic violence history to be shared; expiry dates on domestic violence intervention orders; allowing police video evidence in court; confidentiality of counselling and medical records in legal proceedings; and housing and homelessness service priorities.
Image: Heather Nancarrow back then left to right: Helen Dalley-Fisher, Manager, Equality Rights Alliance; Sandra Triulzi, Chair, Economic Security for Women; Dr Pat Hamilton, President, National Rural Women’s Coalition; Julie Oberin, Chair, Australian Women Against Violence Alliance; Tracey Currie, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance. Photo credit: ANROWS.
29 August 2016