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I also acknowledge the Larrakia people and pay my respects to their elders past, present and future. I honour them for their custodianship of the land on which we gather tonight. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have long spoken out for equality on both the national and international stage. Thank you Commissioner Eddie Cubillo for inviting me to speak tonight. This has been matched by widespread coverage across the media, whether it be debates on pay equity, quotas for women on boards or violence against women. It has been wonderful to see the energy and momentum of the celebrations, as well to see gender equality front and centre on the national agenda.

Back then, women called for: equal pay for equal work; an 8 hour day for shop workers; and a basic wage for the unemployed. This is not to say that that the situation for women has not improved over the past years - it has - and it is worth spending some time to reflect on these developments. And it was not until that women were elected to our federal parliament for the first time.

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It was the same in many private companies. It was only in that Australian women won the right to drink in a public bar. On a Wednesday afternoon in March that year, two women, Merle Thornton and Rosalie Bognor, entered the public bar of the Regatta Hotel in Brisbane and ordered two beers.

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When they were refused their beers and asked to leave, they promptly chained themselves to the footrail of the bar. Inthe Sex Discrimination Act was enacted.

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It gave effect to the Committee of Eliminating Discrimination against Women and prohibited discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, family responsibilities and prohibited sexual harassment. In the early s we started to see women and men working together to address gender equality. This is where we are today. When I think about my own life.

I was fortunate to go to university, and when my children were born I was able to work as a partner in a large law firm three days a week. Now I am a federal Commissioner and a mum with two young children.

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But there is still much to do. Pay equity: Years after women first marched in the streets demanding equal pay and four decades after the first federal pay case, the gender gap still exists in Australian workplaces. Even more alarming is that, over the last four years the gender gap in pay has actually widened to 17 per cent [1].

In the ASX companies among the key management personnel, the pay gap increases to The pay gap is compounded by the fact that most workplaces operate with a view that people who are paid more, matter more. The very existence of the pay gap further marginalises women. Not only are women paid less but they are perceived to be less valuable.

If this application succeeds it will be a major advance for the women who carry out this important work. And it will have a flow-on impact. There is concern about how any increase will be funded. But I think whether the community sector work is undervalued and how any increase should be funded are 2 separate questions. Pay inequality exists because we allow it to. A concerted effort by business, government and the community is needed to close this gap.

I have recommended that a National Pay Equity Strategy be put in place to comprehensively address this issue. The reality is women are under-represented at decision-making levels in every sector of public life in Australia. As you will know we started with the top boardrooms languishing with only 8. From to we increased the of women on boards by only 0. And it took the top statisticians in the country to confirm there had been any movement at all. But ridding the structure of these cultural toxins will require more than pointing accusingly at the mess.

It requires a detailed plan for how to move forward and a compelling, attractive portrait of the result. The good news is that change is happening. You will also have observed over the last week, the ificant discussion about the issue of quotas.

This debate has long polarised Australians, and there seems to be strong cultural resistance to it by both men and women. They are a temporary special measure and as such are permissible under the federal anti-discrimination laws. Legislative quotas should be part of our armoury for realising this goal. These are reforms that I have called for in my Gender Equality Blueprint.

The gender inequality we see at the moment is disadvantaging us all. The final area where we have not seen sufficient progress is family and domestic violence. It is still one of the biggest obstacles to the achievement of gender equality in Australia. I often ask people to name countries where they consider violence against women to be a problem.

More often than not they reel off a list of other countries, but fail to recognize the high prevalence rates in their own country, Australia. Violence against women continues to be endemic and widespread in Australia. Inthe ABS estimated that one in three Australian women had experienced violence since the age of Over forty per cent of these women experienced violence at the hands of a current or former partner [7]. That is over 1.

Each year, this violence is witnessed by overchildren [9]. The statistics become even more confronting when we look at specific groups of women:. It is not determined by how much money you have, where you Looking for a women to fuck tonight Darwin NT from, or how old you are. What we also know is that women from different racial backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, migrant and refugee women and women with disability may face an even more difficult time.

For example, Zena found it hard when she started her life in Australia as a migrant with a new husband. She spoke Looking for a women to fuck tonight Darwin NT English and had no friends to help her. Her husband was the one communicating with the outside world. He took care of housing, applying for Centrelink payments and Medicare. He chose their friends. No single government or entity can solve this issue. It will take all of us - government, NGOs, education and business to make a difference.

Business has been missing from this conversation. We need also to start talking about domestic violence as a workplace issue. Almost two thirds of women who experience domestic and family violence are in paid work, so there is no question that the issue of violence affects many in our workplaces [11]. Women who experience it are more likely to have a disrupted work history, to have to change jobs and work in casual and part time work, than women with no experience of violence [12].

The program followed three men that had voluntarily agreed to undertake a 28 week program to deal with their violence. For two of them, the event that triggered their inclusion in the program was not the fact that they were violent at home and that their wives lived in fear, but rather that they were counselled at work and told that if their abusive behaviour toward their co-workers did not change they would be fired from the workplace. But there are things that can be done. Over the last six months a of organisations both public and private sector have developed policies to support staff living with violence — entitlements to domestic violence leave in enterprise agreements, access flexible working conditions, the ability to change extension s, and personal safety information training as part of induction.

Addressing this issue has become an urgent priority for me. Have we become so numb to the statistics that we forget that behind each is a human tragedy? Have we stopped to think that this could be our mother, our sister, our aunt, our daughter or us? Over the last few months I have visited 40 different domestic violence and sexual assault services all across this country.

I want to take a moment here to acknowledge the incredible work and dedication of the people who work in such services. They fill me with admiration. The commitment and dedication of workers in this sector is overwhelming — the compassion and personal sacrifice immense.

Many of these services are underfunded - they deliver so much with so little. There is a critical need to increase funding to both existing services, and to provide additional, culturally appropriate services in areas where they are not available. Currently there are 9 safe places for men and 13 safe places for women in remote communities. Since they commenced in there have been more than intakes - what that means is more than incidences of potential harm have been prevented.

I am planning to visit the safe places at Maningrida, to see for myself the work being done. Safe places need to be backed by a range of support services including a police presence in the community. There is also a clear need for more mental health services, to help families deal with the high levels of grief, trauma and stress related to incidents of domestic and family violence.

And there are other innovative examples happening in other states. In October last year, I visited the Frankston Family Violence Centre which provides family violence counselling, legal advice, police and forensic services, child protection, sexual assault services and behavioural change programs. The services are wrapped around the woman and her children.

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On the evening before I arrived, a 10 year old girl had rung the crisis care as her mother was being sexually assaulted. The woman and her children were transported to the centre at 2 a. By This immediate response relied on the links between the different services.

It has been endorsed by all states and territories, including the NT. The national plan is a ificant step forward for Australia.

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