Important work has taken place in the ACT over the last 12 months to enhance the status of women and girls and progress gender equity in the Canberra community.
Today I delivered a Statement on the Status of Women to the ACT Legislative Assembly. Since the release of the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26, the government has been working with the community to break down barriers and create pathways for women to achieve their personal and professional ambitions.
The ACT has achieved 48 per cent of positions on ACT government boards and committees held by women, one of the best statistics nationally. The ACT Legislative Assembly has also achieved equity with 13 of the 25, or 52 per cent of representatives being women.
ACT Government funded sporting organisations are working with us to achieve the goal of 40 per cent female representation on their boards and the government remains positive about the change that this dynamic will bring to the sporting arena.
Government services are working to recruit women in historically male dominated roles. This year women represented 40 per cent of applicants for custodial positions in ACT Corrective Services, an increase of 10 per cent on last year and 18 per cent since 2014. Work continues towards the 50:50 recruitment target in ACT Fire & Rescue with a current rate of 22 per cent women as at 2018. Female workforce participation rate is amongst the highest in the world at almost 67 per cent.
The government is offering more training and support than ever before to encourage greater representation of women in leadership and board positions and through the work of the new Family Safety Hub, the government is continuing its work to addressing domestic and family violence.
International Women’s Day is held each year on 8 March and this year’s theme was #BalanceforBetter. The theme highlights the improvements for individuals and society that can be achieved through improved gender equality. It urges us to “Better the balance, to better the world”.
The ACT Government is making significant strides to better the balance. I encourage every individual, business, government directorate, community agency and community group in the ACT to consider how they can contribute to making our goal of gender equality a reality.