The more women become involved in the political process, the more voice we have. And it does make a difference.
The Gender Gap
Although women and men are born with the same fundamental human rights, historically women's specific needs, priorities and experiences have been undervalued or ignored. This is known as the Gender Gap, the disparity between the way women and men are treated by society, especially in terms of public policy priorities.
Examples of the Gender Gap in public policy:
- The length of time it took to achieve a paid parental leave scheme in Australia
- Pay inequity for women workers
- Workplace policies that prevent work-life balance or flexible working conditions
- Unaffordable and inaccessible childcare
Despite all the achievements of women since Suffrage and the rise of modern feminism, there is still a long way to go before the Gender Gap is bridged.
Consider these statistics:
- In Australia, women working full-time today earn 16 per cent less than men.
- Currently, the average superannuation payout for women is a third of the payout for men - $37,000 compared with $110, 000.
- In the top 200 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange women hold only 8.7 per cent of board directorships. The small number of CEO's who are women receive half the salary of their male counterparts.
- Women make up less than 25% of the House of Representatives in the Parliament of Australia.
- In the Federal Court of Australia, women make up only 13% of the bench.
- In the 2007 Global Gender Gap Report, released by the World Economic Forum, Australia ranked 35th for women's political empowerment.
The Gender Lens
EMILY's List Australia knows that when women support women, women win.
By applying a gender lens to your giving, prioritising programs and organisations that put women first - like EMILY's List Australia - you can help build the bridge across the Gender Gap.
Women are the great givers of society – as unpaidworkers and as philanthropists. However, sometimes we forget the importance of giving back to ourselves, our sisters and our daughters.
We are just starting to understand the importance of giving to women.
For more information about the importance of giving to women check out:
Why Support EMILY's List Australia
EMILY's List Australia is a financial, political and personal support network for progressive Labor women candidates, helping them get elected to Parliament and in turn change the lives of all women. It is the only network of its kind inAustralia.
EMILY's List Australia is a non-profit organisation that receives no government or political party funding. It was deliberately established by its women founders to be separate from the ALP. It raises its own funds through members and supporters who give to the organisation and its candidates.
EMILY's List Australia is a Success Story for Affirmative Action
EMILY's List Australia is a success story for affirmative action in Parliaments. In just 16 years, we have led to a 230% increase in the number of progressive Labor Women standing in winnable seats across the Country.
Our work has helped elect 155 women to Parliaments across the country, including:
- The first woman Prime Minister, Julia Gillard
- The First elected woman Premier, Anna Bligh
- The First indigenous women in Parliament, Member for Kimberley in WA, Carol Martin.
We have achieved this through a range of affirmative action strategies for women including:
- Support for the setting and achievement of Parliamentary representation targets for women,
- A financial support program giving women substantial sums of money that they control,
- A political skills training program that shares knowledge amongst candidates, MP's and former MP's
- A mentoring strategy which matches successful women leaders of yesterday, with emerging leaders of today and tomorrow.
The equal representation of women in Parliament is crucial to a democracy. It ensures that policies, programs or legislation reflects the needs of the population, enhances the deliberations, decisions and outcomes by incorporating the different experiences of women, and ultimately improves public service provision by being more eflective of community need.
For more information on the EMILY's List Australia Success Story and how you can contribute to it click here.