WA gender inequality draft plan open for public comment

With the input gathered so far used to develop the draft plan, public comment is being sought on whether the draft plan reflects the voices that have contributed to date.

With the input gathered so far used to develop the draft plan, public comment is being sought on whether the draft plan reflects the voices that have contributed to date.

The McGowan Government has released a draft of its plan to address gender inequality in Western Australia for public comment.

Thousands of women and girls - from Esperance and Bunbury in the south to Karratha and the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome - have already contributed to the plan through the State Government's Women's Voices: Building a Stronger WA Together consultations.

Through the initial six-month consultation process, which closed on July 31, the Department of Communities received 1,963 survey responses, more than 330 'postcard' submissions, and in-person feedback at 35 community consultation sessions, which reached hundreds of women from diverse backgrounds and all age groups across the State.

With the input gathered so far used to develop the draft plan, public comment is being sought on whether the draft plan reflects the voices that have contributed to date.

Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk said the latest public consultation period provided another opportunity for women and men to share their aspirations, challenges and changes they want to see to remove barriers to their full social and economic participation.

"In all aspects of life, from schools and the workplace to retirement, women deserve equal opportunities," she said.

"But equality for women is still a long way off, with some estimates suggesting another 200 years are expected to pass before global equality is achieved.

"The McGowan Government knows that in order to address any issue, you need to understand the problem, develop a plan for change and commit to act on that plan.

"We have listened to women's voices across Western Australia, and heard loud and clear what the issues are - balancing work and family responsibilities, prevention of family and domestic violence, attitudes to women in the community, and representation of women in leadership.

"I urge women and girls to take this opportunity to have their say on the State's first long-term plan to address gender inequality."

The Women's Plan will outline long-term strategies for change, taking into account the data in the 2019 Women's Report Card released earlier this year.

The report card, produced by the Department of Communities through the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, details WA women's progress across four key areas: health and wellbeing, safety and justice, economic independence and leadership.

Submissions on the draft Women's Plan are open for three weeks and can be made by completing a short survey by 5pm on Monday, November 29.

The survey can be found by visiting the Department of Communities website https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/wa-have-your-say/womens-plan

The final Women's Plan is due to be released in March 2020.