Archives for April 2016

Entrenched bias against women and children must stop. In this Budget, this Election and all public policy.

Ten organisations, representing hundreds and thousands of women, have called on warring political leaders in the run-up to the Budget, and to an election, to put an end to entrenched bias against women and children.

“Election 2013, and the following Budget, saw promises made that were not kept, and policies never previously mentioned introduced which were heavy blows to women and children” said Dr Mary Crawford, President of the National Foundation for Australian Women.

“The organisations making this call to political leaders speak for a wide range of women, especially women in disadvantage.

“There are women in Pacific Island nations, depending on Australian aid to give birth to healthy babies, and to educate those children.

“There are women in Australian cities and country towns fleeing domestic violence with their children- they need access to supported affordable housing, to community legal services.

“There are mature women retiring with grossly inadequate retirement incomes, unable to afford rents in our towns and cities.

“There are women and children needing access to health care, to dental care, to affordable medicines.

“There are working women still unable to find affordable decent care after school and in school holidays for their children, women who are still facing the loss of weekend penalty rates if they work in retail and hospitality. There are teenage girls and women looking for work needing access to affordable technical training run by reputable training institutions. We now have mothers and children in Australia who are denied access to a parenting payment once their youngest child turns eight. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are twice as likely to die as an outcome of family violence compared to other women.

“Our organisations know women, know the needs of women and their children. We plead on their behalf.

“Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Australian Greens. Now is the time to put an end to entrenched bias against women and children in this Budget, this election and public policies.”

The National Foundation for Australian Women will again produce an analysis of the impact of the Federal Budget on women and girls, Dr Crawford added.

For further information contact Viv Hardy on 0411 208 951 or (02) 9283 4113 or Mary Crawford, President National Foundation of Australian Women 0410 427 831

  • National Foundation for Australian Women
  • Rachel Bausor WIRE
  • Carmen Hannaker Green Union of Australian Women
  • Diann Rodgers-Healy Australian Centre for Leadership for Women
  • Terese Edwards Council for the Single Mother and her Child
  • Joanna Hayter International Women’s Development Agency
  • Linda Simon Women in Adult and Vocational Education
  • Janis Shaw Business and Professional Women Australia
  • Melanie Fernandez Women’s Electoral Lobby
  • Melba Marginson Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition

Support women’s reproductive rights across Australia

Reproductive Choice Australia was formed in 2005 and February 2016 marked the ten year anniversary of their first successful campaign (in conjunction with GetUp!) – to remove the Federal Health Minister’s veto over importing and using abortifacient medication such as mifepristone (RU486) in Australia. This was the essential first step in providing Australian women with the option of medical as well as surgical termination of pregnancy – an option which has become slowly but increasingly available and in high demand over time.

Reproductive Choice Australia remains the country’s only dedicated national abortion-rights advocacy organisation. They work both publicly and behind the scenes with politicians, policy makers, health services, abortion providers and others to continue to fight for the reproductive rights of all Australian women.

In Australia women still do not have adequate access to the full range of reproductive options and appropriate reproductive health, particularly in regional and remote parts of our nation. Abortion remains governed by criminal legislation in a number of jurisdictions and affordable and accessible contraception and pregnancy termination services are still limited.

There are currently moves afoot in several states and territories to change their laws (some public, some not yet so) and RCA’s capacity is being stretched trying to help out in all cases as well as an urgent upgrade of our website to share resources with other advocates.

Can you support this important work by giving a donation to fund our campaigning, advocacy and policy work?

Reproductive Choice Australia is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation staffed entirely by volunteers. They receive no government funding, and depend entirely on donations to help defend and enhance women’s reproductive freedom. It is only with your support that we can continue this important work.

Please consider making a donation.

You can make a tax-deductable donation through NFAW (choose Reproductive Choice Australia from the drop down menu). You can donate on our website by PayPal or by direct debt or cheque.

If you can contribute in other ways, offering your time, expertise or products or services, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us on

You can also help with our ongoing awareness raising efforts by sharing our social media posts on

Facebook and Twitter @reprochoiceau

Together we can improve reproductive choice for all women across Australia.

A husband is not a retirement plan – Report from the Economic Security for Women in Retirement Inquiry

The Senate Inquiry into the Economic Security of Women in Retirement has found that if action is not taken now, women currently aged 25-29 will still face a less secure retirement than men of the same age when they retire in 2055.

The Inquiry’s final report has been released today and provides 19 recommendations that, if implemented, would narrow the gap between men and women’s retirement security.

The Inquiry found that Australia’s retirement system disproportionally rewards the working lives of men over women. From their first day at work, Australian women face a structural disadvantage in being able to achieve a safe and dignified retirement.

The combination of the gender pay gap, time out of fulltime work for caring responsibilities, tax arrangements that disproportionally benefit higher paid men and a concentration of women in lower paid occupations mean women are retiring with approximately half the superannuation of men. It is not acceptable that women can enter retirement after a lifetime of work and care facing poverty.

Whilst superannuation has improved retirement for many Australians, the current tax arrangements for superannuation are poorly targeted and act to reinforce the savings gap between men and women. Men currently receive double the benefit of tax concessions than women. A rebalancing of these tax concessions to more fairly assist those people on low and middle incomes is a critical step ensuring the superannuation system appropriately responds to the realities of women’s work.

The report also emphasises the significance of the pension as the principal way that we reward the unpaid work of women. The pension remain as a strong pillar of our retirement system and exists to provide a dignified retirement. The Inquiry found that the gap in men and women’s retirement incomes cannot be solved by women alone. It cannot be solved by women putting away a little more money over their working lives. The report provides a roadmap for short and long-term action to address the significant disadvantage women face in achieving a secure retirement.

The report can be found at