Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, launched her Gender Equality Blueprint 2010 at the National Press Club today, saying that, in the wake of securing the major reform of paid parental leave scheme for Australia, there is a risk that gender equality will be considered to be “finished business”, making further reform unnecessary.
“The Gender Equality Blueprint 2010 is a next stage of reform,” said Commissioner Broderick. “Nine major national reviews have and, if they tell us anything, it is that there remains a major gap in equality between women and men.”
The Gender Equality Blueprint 2010 sets out 15 recommendations in five priority areas, which were identified from Commissioner Broderick’s 2007 national listening tour.
“These recommendations are an effort to focus on practical, achievable changes that can be made now,” Commissioner Broderick said. “And I am pleased to say that, in some areas, these changes are already under way.”
Launching the Blueprint at the National Press Club today, Ms Broderick addressed three of the main areas of recommendation – childcare and out of school care, promoting women in leadership and preventing violence against women.
In relation to childcare, the Commissioner said, “We need a national childcare body, adequately empowered and resourced, that will oversee ongoing development towards a system of high quality, accessible, affordable universal childcare.”
In terms of promoting women in leadership, “We need the Australian Government to announce a minimum 40% of each gender on all federal government boards to be achieved within three years, with progress against this target reported annually.”
Addressing sexual harassment and violence against women, “We need a major national prevention strategy to drive down the incidence of sexual harassment in our workplaces, and we need an independent body to monitor the implementation of the national plan to reduce violence against women.”
Commissioner Broderick urged the Government and political parties to adopt the Blueprint, the business sector to put innovative gender equality strategies in place, and to measure achievement against them, and unions to maintain their focus on pay equity. She also encouraged women’s groups and other NGOs to continue the sophisticated and sustained advocacy that was so instrumental in finally delivering paid parental leave to the community.
The Gender Equality Blueprint 2010 is available on the Australian Human Rights Commission website at: www.humanrights.gov.au
Media contacts: Brinsley Marlay – 02 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529