Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, announced this week the establishment of six National Women’s Alliances, which will share in $3.6 million of funding from the Australian Government over three years.
Comprising women’s organisations and individuals from across Australia, each alliance has a specific focus: economic security, equality rights, violence against women, immigrant and refugee women, rural, and Indigenous women.
Ms Plibersek said through these alliances, women and women’s organisations will share information, identify issues that affect them, and identify solutions.
“The alliances will engage actively with the Australian Government on policy issues as part of a better more informed and representative dialogue between women and government,” said Ms Plibersek in a media release date 10 March 2010.
“Most importantly, the alliances are about inclusion. The National Women’s Alliances will ensure that the voices of a variety of women are heard, including those that have not been well represented in the past. They will allow women to actively engage with all levels of government by identifying and responding to current issues.”
The alliances will be encouraged to align strategically with government priorities to ensure representation for all women, especially those who in the past have found it difficult to engage in advocacy and decision making.
Ms Plibersek said “The Australian Government will work together with the alliances in the coming weeks to establish funding arrangements and to discuss the best ways of working together.”
Funding has been offered to three alliances to focus on specific issues:
- Economic Security for Women will focus on improving women’s economic security and financial independence
- Equality Rights Australia (ERA) will address gender equality and leadership issues and
- Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination (WEAVE) will address issues of women’s safety and the elimination of violence.
In addition, funding has also been offered to three alliances to represent specific groups of women:
- The Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance will engage with and advocate on behalf of immigrant and refugee women, with a particular focus on building leadership and advocacy skills among its members
- The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance will give Indigenous women a strong voice in Government decision making; and
- The National Rural Women’s Coalition and Network will provide a voice for more than 250,000 women in rural and regional Australia and fulfills the Government’s election commitment to establish a national network for rural women.
For more information on the National Women’s Alliances visit http://fahcsia.gov.au/sa/women/progserv/equal/Pages/engaging_womens_org.aspx