Representatives from the six new National Women’s Alliances gathered for the first time at Parliament House in Canberra in March.
The meeting included members of the newly formed Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance, Economic Security for Women, Equality Rights Australia, and Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination (WEAVE)*, as well as the National Rural Women’s Coalition and Network. [*the Federally funded women’s alliance is now known as the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance or AWAVA]
Through these Alliances, women and women’s organisations will share information, identify issues that affect them, and propose solutions.
The Alliances will work with the Australian Government on policy issues as part of a better more informed and representative dialogue between women and government.
The Government announced that it would provide the six Alliances with a combined total of $3.6 million over three years.
Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, told the gathering the Alliances would amplify the voices of women so they are heard in every corner, especially where they can make a real difference.
“Women are often a strong core of the community, but they continue to be under represented in decision making and have fewer opportunities to have their own say on issues that affect them,” Ms Plibersek said.
“The Alliances are an opportunity to build and broaden women’s networks.
“In particular, the Government wants to engage with women whose voices have not previously been heard in policy development and decision making.
“I am looking to the Alliances to provide the right balance of representation and advocacy, so all women can influence Government, and together we can prioritise their needs.
“I look forward to the Alliances developing as strong and effective advocates and I congratulate them on taking the first step to advancing the status of Australian women.”