Coalition of NFPs Call on Parties to ‘Stop War on Women’
17 May 2016 at 9:35 am
A group of 10 women-focused Not for Profits have joined forces to demand that both major political parties place women at the “centre of the economy” as part of their federal election platform.
Led by the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW), the coalition of organisations said the 2016/17 budget unfairly disadvantaged women, and the election was a chance to reverse damaging cuts.
“Even if they don’t start out as meaning to attack women… they don’t do a proper analysis of how things are going to impact on women differentially,” NFAW social policy committee chair Marie Coleman said.
“Women will come out of this budget much worse than men. That’s why [the parties] have to do something about.
“We don’t know at this stage what the view of the opposition is on those budget savings, whether if they were elected they would keep them.
“We want both the government and the opposition to go back and look very hard at those savings.”
The group of organisations made 50 recommendations across a range of policy areas, including workplace relations, health, education, housing, domestic violence, taxation and superannuation.
“We are particularly concerned that there is nothing in this budget which represents a serious commitment to helping women get back into the workforce or to train for the workforce,” Coleman said.
“Adding to that is the impact of cuts for women escaping domestic violence, needing legal help. There is nothing to make housing more affordable. There are a whole lot of issues here which are very serious for Australian women.”
She said the NFAW would remain impartial during the election campaign, and would focus on educating women about their voting options.
“We don’t fight in the election campaign… we make the bullets for other people to fire,” she told Pro Bono Australia News.
“What NFAW will do next is prepare a summary of election policies on major issues of concern for women. That’s allied with womenvote.org.au, which is aimed at encouraging women to understand the voting system, make sure they register to vote and make sure that they know how to vote formally.
“When we do our election policies analysis it won’t endorse any parties or any policies, it will set out comparing like with like… summarising all of the party policies to make it easier to asses what the parties are promising.”
The coalition also includes WIRE, Green Union of Australian Women, Australian Centre for Leadership for Women, Council for the Single Mother and her Child, International Women’s Development Agency, Women in Adult and Vocational Education, Business and Professional Women Australia, Women’s Electoral Lobby, and Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition.