eS4W e-Bulletin February 2014
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What happened in February
from Sally Jope, eS4W Executive Officer

Welcome to another e-bulletin from economic Security4Women and greetings to all members of our member organisations.

February has been another busy time for economic Security4Women, amid a period of change and uncertainty for many women in paid and unpaid work. We are getting to know a relatively new government, with a great amount of industry restructure within a changing global market as we position ourselves to keep gender equity and women’s economic security in the minds of decision makers.  In response to our members concerns we are talking with our sister alliances about these issues with the aim of working together at our next national forum, for the benefit of all women and girls in Australia.

During February I met the members of the NATSIWA Board at their meeting in Sydney; met with Zoe Lamont of 10 Thousand Girls made a trip to Canberra where I attended a policy workshop held by HC Coombs School of Public Policy at ANU (see notes); met with Office for Women; met with program managers from ERA and AWAVA to discuss collaborative projects; met with an advisor to The Hon Bruce Billson, MP, Minister for Small Business; with Michelle Tan, advisor to Senator Cash and with our new council member, Mary Mertin Ryan, of who is the ACT President of WCEI.

I was also honoured to hear four young women speak about Inspiring Change at AHRC Rights Talk, attend the NWA forum "International Engagement form global to local" and finally take part in ASICs Communities of Practice and meet staff involved in the National Financial Literacy Strategy.

Sally's update on eS4W activities on the 2013-2014 work plan
Career Exploration Project
As many of you are already aware, WAVE was the successful candidate and is now working with the project advisory group on this important work. Members of the advisory group include:
  • Sandra Dann, WWC SA
  • Lynda Roberts-Hall, AFGW
  • Samiro Douglas, WIRE
  • Mary Mertin Ryan, WCEI, who has recently replaced Ondina Gregoric as their council member
My role is to convene the meetings of the advisory group and ensure all of our members are involved in this project. An e-bulletin devoted to this project will be sent out early March and I hope you can send it onto your members as we are keen to find as many relevant projects as possible. We are also keen to involve member organisations in this issue: women and girls into non-traditional occupations and industries. Segregation by gender of the labour market is a significant contributor to the gender pay gap and women’s long term economic insecurity.
Financial Literacy
We have begun conversations with ASIC about their Financial Literacy Strategy and how we can better engage women with the existing resources available.

Our own work on this will be to focus on women and negotiation of pay, conditions and contracts.
We are also partnering with 10 Thousand Girls for their IWD event in Melbourne being held with member organisation Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. I am attending their Investment 101 session and will promote the alliance as well as future work with ASIC and our ‘negotiation’ project.
Gender statistics
We are talking with NATSIWA about the lack of gender disaggregated data in the Employment section of the Closing the Gap report.

Our gender statistics expert, Dalma Jacobs, AFGW, and I are talking about this and about re-vamping eS4W’s gender statistics web page to make it more useful to member organisations. Please contact me if you want to make suggestions or are interested in finding out more about using gender statistics in your advocacy and the importance of data disaggregated by gender in general.

Highlights from ABS release of Gender Indicators: economic security - More older women than men rely on government pensions and allowances.  Read more here
Gender pay equity: focus on SMEs
We are finalising the pay equity web page which is one of the recommendations from the 2013 pay equity forum. Other actions recommended at the forum have been summarised from the report to government by Philippa Hall (report).

We have been partnering with Workplace Gender Equality Agency to engage with SME sector and to promote to them resources that are tailored to their needs.

I have also been in direct contact with the Office of the Minister for Small Business and the Office of the Minister for Employment while talking with Office for Women about follow up work to progress actions from the forum.

New figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that, on average, full-time working women’s earnings are 17.1% less per week than full-time working men’s earnings (a difference that equates to $262.50 per week). This gap in male and female earnings has decreased slightly since the last set of ABS figures were released in August 2013, when the gap was 17.5%. Women’s earnings have increased at a slightly higher rate than men’s over the past 12 months: 3.5% compared to 3%.National gender pay gap at 17.1%, employers tackle pay inequity.  Click here to view media release 

WGEA provides a sample of the new Gender Equality Benchmark Report that will provide employers with solid data to inform their gender equality strategies is now available on our website.  (Please note, this sample report uses fictional data). Read more about the benchmark report
International Women’s Day
Coming up in March is International Women’s Day; while we live with the uncertainty of a changing future we can look back at the progress made for women, by women and continue to strive for more secure futures for ourselves and for our daughters, granddaughters, and all of our sisters.
Other Activities

National Plan to Reduce Violence against women and their children
eS4W were represented by Sandra Dann (SAWWC) in Adelaide and Sue Salthouse (WAVE) in Canberra at the national roundtable discussion on the Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan).  The roundtables were very successful, with a broad cross-section of participants and some rich and robust discussion across all four sessions in Adelaide and Canberra. 

We are encouraged to further contribute to the development of the Second Action Plan through written submissions.

Information on the written submission process is available on the Department of Social Services website
You might also be interested in the upcoming Child Aware Approaches Conference ( to be held in Melbourne from 31 March – 1 April 2014. The conference will showcase innovative ways of working with children, families and communities to keep Australia’s children safe and well.  Child Aware Approaches is a key initiative under the National Plan and National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.
Collaboration Project - International Engagement Local to Global
On Thursday, 27th February, 45 women from various NGOs attended "An introduction to the Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Human Rights Treaty System" forum hosted by the NWAs at the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in Sydney.  Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, ARHC, welcomed the attendees and encouraged them to take part in the CEDAW Shadow report.  Alison G Aggarwal, Principal Adviser, Sex Discrimination Team, AHRC offered assistance to all NGOs who wanted to engage in the process.

Papers will be published on eS4W's website early March



Julie Mackay, Executive Director, Australian National Committee for UN Women and Dr Susan Harris Rimmer, Director of Studies at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University will be NGO delegates on the Government Delegation to CSW58 this year. 

They look forward to working with you all in the lead up to and during the Commission and have set up a Facebook page ‘Australian NGOs at CSW 58’ where we will be posting updates, comments and questions.  Please feel free to share the group with your networks.
For more information view the Government media release - here

International Women's Day Events

Tuesday 4th February
10thousandgirl and economic Security4Women 

Personal Finance LinkUp – Investing 101: Cash, Property, Shares Read more

QVWC International Women's Day Events

Other IWD events can be viewed here

Save the date !
Our Work Our Lives 2014

5th National Conference on Women and Industrial Relations

Mercure Gold Coast Resort, 64 Palm Meadows Drive,
Carrara, Qld 4211 on 15 and 16 May, 2014

Visit - for more information
  • The Victorian Women’s Trust is currently undertaking a research project aimed at addressing inequity for young women in Australian superannuation - Please help us spread the word! 
    For more information about this project, contact Ruth via
  • Is it time to start a new national conversation on inequality - read more
  • Australian Human Rights e-bulletins
  • Dr Jill Rubery spoke recently at Sydney University at a seminar held by the Women and Work Research Group - "The forty year pursuit of Equal Pay: A Case of Constantly Moving Goal Posts" download presentation here
economic Security4Women (eS4W) is one of the National Women’s Alliances. It is an alliance of women’s organisations united in the belief that economic wellbeing and financial security are essential for women and will enable women of all ages to have an equal place in society.
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