Thursday 8 March 2018

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins says significant inroads have been made, but there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in Australia.

Speaking at an International Women’s Day event in Melbourne today, Commissioner Jenkins said it’s a time to celebrate achievements, but also to reflect on the many challenges to overcome.

“This year, International Women’s Day comes off the back of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice, and this movement has certainly been felt in Australia. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.

“We must continue the momentum for change.

“IWD is an important reminder that women across the country are doing incredible work. It’s crucial we acknowledge this work every day, not just on International Women’s Day.

Commissioner Jenkins has encouraged people to access the Australian Human Rights Commission’s new resource Face the Facts: Gender Equality 2018 - which details the gap in gender equality.

  • Australia's overall world ranking in gender equality has regressed from 15th in 2006 to 35th in 2017.
  • Women continue to experience intimate partner violence at higher rates than men.
  • The current gender pay gap remains at 15.3%
  • Women retire with less than 50% of the retirement savings as men.

Commissioner Jenkins said despite the figures, she is optimistic about the future.

“I’m positive about the work ahead because gender equality is beneficial for us all. Even though there is no one silver bullet to accelerate gender equality in Australia, there are increasing opportunities for all of us to play a role and take action,” Commissioner Jenkins said.