Queensland taking strides toward gender equality

Two reports have been released which show continued steady improvements for women and girls in Queensland while also highlighting scope for more advances.

The Queensland Government’s Queensland Women’s Strategy Progress Report for 2016-18 and the 2018 Gender Equality Report Cards show ongoing improvements, particularly in the area of participation and leadership.

“We don’t just talk about gender equality – we set goals and we work to achieve them,” Ms Farmer said.

“In July 2015, the number of women on Queensland Government bodies sat at 31 percent – less than a third.

“We set a goal to reach 50 percent by 2020, and I’m pleased to report we’re already almost there. The number of women has increased to 47 percent as at 30 September 2018.

“Women now make up 53 per cent of senior officers and equivalents in the Queensland Public Sector, and all intakes for the Queensland Police Service Academy in the last two years met their 50/50 gender target with 370 women recruited.

“We also appointed the state’s first woman Chief Entrepreneur, Leanne Kemp, in October.

“Importantly, more than 5,500 women have been employed under our Back to Work – Regional Employment Package, and Advance Queensland has awarded 375 small business grants to Queensland women,” Ms Farmer said.

Ms Farmer said partner organisations across Queensland were also making an important contribution.

“More than 1,000 girls in Years 7-12 at 16 schools have taken part in Indigenous Advancement Programs run by the Stars Foundation, Brisbane Broncos, Netball Queensland and Role Models Leaders Australia, in partnership with Education Queensland,” she said.

“These programs encourage girls to actively engage in education until completion of Year 12.

“And the One Woman Project, a youth-led organisation, has delivered gender equality education seminars and workshops to more than 17,000 school students across the state.”

Ms Farmer said both reports looked at the status of Queensland women and girls aligned to the Strategy’s four priority areas, participation and leadership, economic security, safety and health and wellbeing.

“While we are seeing continued improvements, there is still a lot of work to be done in a number of areas,” Ms Farmer said.

“Financial inequality is still a significant issue, which is why the theme of this year’s Queensland Women’s Week ‘Invest in Women, Invest in the Future’ is about improving women’s and girls’ financial literacy and capability.

“Women are still 2.3 times more likely than men to work part-time, they are more likely to have no superannuation cover, and the gender pay gap is 17.3 percent.

“Of those women who do have superannuation, most are likely to have a lower balance than men, which is a real concern especially for women who are approaching retirement age.

“In terms of safety for women, the rates of sexual violence remain unacceptably high.

“More than 83 per cent of sexual assault victims are female, and women are still four times more likely to be killed by a partner than men are.”

Ms Farmer said everyone needs to help end gender inequality, including the Queensland Government.

“We remain committed to our goal, which is to achieve a Queensland that respects women, embraces gender equality, and promotes and protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of women and girls,” she said.

“Our Women’s Strategy provides a framework for government, the private sector and the wider community to do that, to take significant actions to help us reach that goal together.”

The Queensland Women’s Strategy Progress Report can be found at https://www.csyw.qld.gov.au/campaign/womens-strategy/reporting and the Report Cards are at https://www.csyw.qld.gov.au/campaign/womens-strategy/queensland-womens-strategy

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