Perth – Tuesday 7 June 2016

The National Foundation for Australian Women invites you to a networking evening in Perth to promote gender equity in Science & Technology

Perth – Tuesday 7 June 2016 6pm – 8pm

with Guest Speakers

Prof. Cobie Rudd (Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Strategic Partnerships, Edith Cowan University) &

Ms Marjolein Towler (Chair, Women in Technology WA)

NFAW Perth June 2016 – invitation

Refreshments Provided
@ Deloitte WA
Brookfield Tower 2, 123 St Georges Terrace, Perth , WA 6000

Tell us you are coming https://www.trybooking.com/202972 before 2 June 2016

Contact: Kate Brooks 0437 416 399

This event is proudly supported by: Deloitte.

Powerful coalition of women call for both parties to stop their war on women

15 May 2016. With the 2016/17 Budget failing to bring Australian women into the centre of the economy and pushing many further into poverty as well as cuts to overseas aid which will hurt vulnerable women in our region, the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) – supported by a range of academic institutions and women’s groups – is calling for both major parties to stop their war on women.

According to the NFAW this budget is far from fair. It provides tax breaks for the wealthy, while low to middle income families are hit by ‘zombie’ savings from the Abbott-Hockey horror budgets. In addition, it lacks investments in education and training reforms.

Health spending is being heavily cut and will disadvantage women, particularly those with chronic conditions. In fact, by the end of week one of the election campaign the Government was trying to negotiate a compromise with the medical profession on the so-called pathology ‘savings’.

Notwithstanding $100m for a national awareness strategy, services for women enduring or exiting domestic violence are suffering funding cuts. Delays will increase in the Family Court. New funding and eligibility changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme will disproportionately disadvantage women while pushing costs of services for those left outside back onto state and territory hospitals and law enforcement systems.

The proposed taxation benefits for female small-medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs are oversold, with most of the returns going to SMEs with male heads.

In fact, superannuation changes are the only single area where changes are beneficial for women.

Following careful, expert, non-partisan analysis of this budget NFAW makes 50 recommendations across a range of policy areas – workplace relations, health, education, housing, domestic violence, taxation, superannuation and more, as well as some related to machinery of government and data.

These recommendations include:

  • Committing $1billion over five years for a long term and securely funded Commonwealth/State national campaign for 24 hour accessible women’s refuges, frontline outreach services and transitional accommodation
  • The office for Women be properly resourced, the gender portal of the Australian Bureau of Statistics be maintained and enhanced and support for the National Women Alliances be retained
  • Adopting the recommendations of the Senate Economic References Committee
  • Financial and criminal sanction against fraudulent VET providers be adequate to restore public confidence in the VET sector and its regulatory framework
  • Immediately reverse the freeze on the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) services and continue to support bulkbilling of pathology and diagnostic services
  • The budget be revised to increase the base rate of allowances
  • Respond to the Willing to Work Report with measures that address the barriers faced by older women to ensure that women have a fair share of the outcomes
  • Increase expenditure on aid investments which target gender equality as a principal objective, including investment in preventing and responding to violence against women
  • Properly resource the Office for Women (OfW) and maintain the gender portal in the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It is time for both parties to call a halt on this ongoing war on women. As the NFAW’s 2016-2017 Budget gender lens clearly demonstrates there is an entrenched bias against women and it has to stop. It is not good for the country, community or economy,” concluded NFAW President Dr Mary Crawford and Visiting Scholar, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

 

The full list of contributing editors including Professor Marian Baird, Professor of Gender and Employment Relations, University of Sydney Business School, Marie Coleman AO PSM DUniv (Hon.), Chair of the National Foundation of Australian Women (NFAW) Social Policy Committee, Dr Helen Hodgson, Associate Professor, Curtin Law School, Women in Social Economic Research Cluster, Curtin University, Helen L’Orange AM, Deputy Chair, Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) Australia, Ruth Medd, Chair, Women on Boards, Sue Salthouse, Council Member, University of Canberra, Stephanie Serhan, School of Accountancy, QUT and Professor Miranda Stewart, Professor and Director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, and Professor at the University of Melbourne Law School in contained in the attached manifesto as is the 50 recommendations and detailed analysis.

For further information contact Marie Coleman AO PSM DUniv (Hon.), Chair of the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) Social Policy Committee on 0414 483 067 or Viv Hardy on 0411 208 951 or Kristie Hardy at CallidusPR on (02) 92834113

The National Women’s Alliances womenvote.org.au website is a hub of information on casting an effective, informed and independent vote.

The five National Women’s Alliances have come together to encourage women to use their votes in the 2016 Federal election. It’s important that women’s voices are heard in this election. We want women to vote in a way that reflects the diverse lives and experiences of women in Australia.

But really using your vote means more than just turning up on election day and sticking your ballot in the box. Your vote needs to be effective, informed, and independent.

Please visit the site, share with your networks, post on your facebook pages.

Like es4Ws Facebook Page, like the NWA Facebook Page, retweet Women! Use your vote womenvote.org.au

Winter Tales at the National Library – 26 June Alice Giles, Harpist; 24 July Harriet Elvin, CEO of the Cultural Facilities Corporation of the ACT; 21 August TBA

ANU modelling shows how the 2016 budget really affects your hip pocket

As reported in the Canberra Times on 12 May, Australia’s poorest families will be hardest hit when all the measures factored into last week’s budget are implemented, modelling by the Australian National University shows.

Zombie taxes will hurt the poor

Independent modelling shows lower income families will be least well-off under current budget plans.

Single-parent families in the poorest 20 per cent of households will be worst affected by the 2018-19 financial year, mainly through scheduled cuts to family tax benefits and hikes in tobacco excise.

Those families will be $1407 worse off a year, the equivalent of 3.6 per cent of average incomes for that group.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, on the campaign trail in Penrith with one-year-old Freya Brown, said last week “the budget is very fair”.

Couples with children in the poorest fifth of households will lose $1146, or 2.7 per cent of average incomes, should all budget measures be successfully introduced.

By contrast, relatively well-off couples with children in the second-top income quintile will be $392 a year better off by 2018-19, modelling of the budget’s impact by ANU’s Centre for Social Research and Methods found.

“The analysis … clearly shows that the proposed measures in the 2016-17 budget would impact low income families with children more significantly than other families,” the report says. “The losses for the middle and top income groups are proportionately much less than low income families.”

It concluded the budget will have a “regressive impact”.

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 http://www.nfaw.org/donate/ (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 team@reproductivechoiceaustralia.org.au

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

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ReproductiveChoiceAustralia/ 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 http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Economic_security_for_women_in_retirement/Report

THURSDAY, 28 APRIL 2016

MEDIA CONTACT:        KATE LEE (MCALLISTER) 0466776160

ANTON GALLACHER (KETTER) 0422574108

New Fair Agenda report shows impact of proposed cuts to Paid Parental Leave:

– low-income women are going to be particularly hard hit

– nurses, teachers, ambos and retail workers will all have the time they can afford to spend caring for their new baby slashed

– the mothers in the scenarios modelled will be left with just 7 – 13 weeks of living expenses covered (so less than half of the 26 weeks recommended)

– thousands will have their support cut to just 18 weeks; before their baby can even crawl

– some will lose as much as $10,000 under the cuts.

Read more about the Report at http://www.fairagenda.org/blog_report_newpplcuts

Superannuation reform is the perfect opportunity to address gender inequity

Rather than using the savings from superannuation reform to lower income taxes, we should use them to make concessions fairer and help women participate more fully in the paid economy, write Helen Hodgson and Marie Coleman. Read more here – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-30/coleman-hodgson-superannuation/6986500