On the 25th of January, Isabelle Hughes, our Policy Intern, produced a policy submission in response to the proposed changes contained in the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill 2017.
In this submission we focused on the role that our current donation laws play in maintaining Australia’s masculinist political culture and in weakening the central democratic principle of serving all citizens.
We argued that significant reform will be required to restore trust in Australia’s parliamentary system and ensure that our democracy is healthy. We highlighted that the proposed changes in the Bill were not enough to ensure that Australia’s democracy was representative, diverse, transparent and robust.
We also advocated on behalf of the charity and not-for-profit sector, which was unfairly targeted by the proposed changes under the guise of ‘reducing foreign influence’.
We were quick to highlight that the Bill worked to silence organistions that often advocate on behalf of society’s most vulnerable rather than target the powerful individuals and corporations who exploit our current laws to wield disproportionate political influence.
We concluded that in order to end Australia’s self-perpetuating masculinist political culture, and to ensure that women, ethnic minorities, average income earners, and young Australians feel represented by their leaders, significant reforms must be implemented to prevent powerful lobbies from skewing policy outcomes.
Click on the button below if you would like to download a copy of our submission.
Sexual harassment at work flourishes in places where sexual discrimination goes unchecked and full gender equality remains a distant hope. Sexual harassment is fuelled by organisations that remain overly masculine; are unequal from top to bottom; and which manifest cultures of permissiveness towards perpetrators and silencing of those harmed.
In our submission we discuss how the processes of naming electorates has systematically overlooked the achievements of women, and outline how these proposed changes fail to rectify the disparity between the representation of men and women within electoral names.
On September 27 2018, the Trust contributed a policy submission to the Victorian Government Gender Equality Bill 2018 Discussion Paper. In our submission we have chosen to address the discussion paper questions where we believe our experience as a women’s organisation can value-add to this important discussion surrounding the intention, implementation, inclusion and evaluation of the proposed legislation.
In our submission, we discuss the scourge that domestic violence constitutes in our society and the legislative and policy intervention vacuum that has persisted in Australia since federation which has ensure the deeply embedded, systemic and wicked nature of this problem.
In our submission, we identified four operating principles which we believe are non-negotiable in the review and ongoing operation of an effective, responsive national counselling service.
We believe Labor has a unique opportunity in Setting The Agenda to build momentum and a political appetite for bold, sophisticated and measured policies which lead to gender equality and to real and lasting and positive change.
The Trust’s submission addressed the schedules in the Bill which addressed Australia’s child care and paid parental leave (PPL) schemes. Our submission emphasised that the benefits of a flexible and generous social security system are then manifest at every level of society with benefits reaching far into Australia’s future.
In our submission we stated that in order to remove structural inequalities which segregate our workplace along gender lines and contribute enormously to the gender pay gap there needs to be a complete overhaul of the norms which dictate our working lives.
As the non-consensual sharing of intimate images becomes easier with the advent of new technologies, it represents a serious issue concerning the safety and wellbeing of women and girls as they increasingly navigate and live their lives through online spaces.
On 29 January 2016, the Trust submitted a policy submission to the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council on the topic of maximum sentencing penalties for sexual offences, particularly those involving a child.
Featuring Trust projects such as Vida’s Voices; Here She is!; Rosie; Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives; and Getting the Balance Right we give a number of recommendations to the Victorian Government to achieve gender equality in Victoria going forward.
On 14 November 2016, the Trust sent our endorsement of the Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Strategy to 22 Victorian Parliamentarians.
Our submission highlighted that education around consent and respectful relationships was the best way to empower young people to navigate a world where the pornography is easily accessible to them and their peers.
Our submission expressed concern that the Paid Parental Leave Scheme proposed under the Bill is inadequate to meet the central purposes of the government's scheme. .
This submission focused on the role of men in reducing attitudes which condone violence against women by adopting positive practices and attitudes to advance gender equality in their own lives and amongst their peers and family.
On 21 November, the Trust sent our endorsement of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Amendment Bill 2016 which removes the current requirement that an adult undergo sex affirmation surgery and be unmarried in order to alter the sex recorded in their Victorian birth registration to 31 Victorian Parliamentarians.
The Trust joined with SafeSteps, EDVOS, WISHIN and the Safe Futures Foundation to collaborate on a joint submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Our submission focussed on Point 14 of the Discussion Paper provided by the Royal Commission.
This submission draws on previous research and other initiatives undertaken by the Victorian Women’s Trust over the past decade or more to highlight the issue of young women’s levels of financial literacy and relative disengagement with the superannuation system.
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