The speed and strength of Australia’s recovery from a once-in-a-century pandemic will depend on the extent to which women can fully participate in the rebuild.
Convened by Minderoo Foundation Co-Chair, Nicola Forrest AO, ‘Women for Progress’ sees a group of passionate women from diverse backgrounds and experiences come together to highlight the role of women and girls in the COVID-19 recovery as a critical policy issue for government.
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted women, exacerbated existing challenges and created a wider gulf of disadvantage, particularly for First Nations women, women with disability, LGBTIQA+ and culturally and linguistically diverse women.
The plethora of research over the past 12 months highlighting the pandemic’s disparate impact on women is sadly predictable and reflects decades of gender inequality and policy failings. Yet the OECD and many UN forums recognise that policies which support gender equality will not only benefit women and children, but also boost the economy and reduce costs related to a multitude of social harms.
The group has put forward the key policies they believe will ensure all women can play an equal role in the COVID-19 recovery and move Australia towards a sustainable economy where the full value of women’s contributions can be realised. In particular, the group advocates for justice and self-determination for First Nations women.
Most of all, ‘Women for Progress’ advocate for change for children – the future of our country – as stresses on families and challenges faced by women have direct impacts on children, who will inherit our society and economy and be the custodians of our planet.
With many voices but one message, ‘Women for Progress’ aim to highlight women and girls as a critical federal election issue. Why? The nation will be healthier, safer, stronger and more prosperous with a government that acts on this urgent call for change.
Building a vibrant and globally competitive economy post COVID-19 depends on enabling the workforce of today through increased female participation, and the workforce of the future through giving children the best start in life, particularly during the critical early years of their development. We call for:
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified gender-based violence and inequalities that drive violence. We need a future where everyone is safe, free from violence and can participate and contribute equally. We call for:
COVID-19 has shone a light on the lack of appreciation and respect for Australia’s female dominated care workforces. These industries must be valued if they are to support the demands of the future and contribute to a thriving economy. Increasing female workforce participation to support Australia’s COVID-19 recovery will drive demand for quality childcare, and an ageing population will drive demand for quality aged care, healthcare and social assistance. We call for:
Ensuring more women including women from diverse backgrounds are in critical decision-making roles will be vital in shaping a post COVID-19 world that is equitable and sustainable. We call for: