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Snap Forward Feminist Policy Network: Submission on COVID-19
There has been much media coverage in recent weeks about the gendered impact of the COVID pandemic. While men are more likely to die from the virus, women are bearing a disproportionate brunt of its economic, social and cultural impacts. In this submission to the Senate's Select Committee on COVID-19, the Snap Forward Feminist Policy Network outlines the specific impact of the crisis on women, and provides 10 key recommendations for government to both lessen the heavy burden and ensure policy responses do not further entrench current systemic gender bias and inequities.
The Snap Forward Feminist Policy Network (SFN) is convened by the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation at the University of Canberra. It represents a collaboration of academics and researchers from the University of Canberra, the Australian National University, University of Sydney, and the University of Melbourne, in conjunction with a national network of women advocates, policy consultants and gender equality organisations.
This submission has been endorsed by over 30 prominent individuals/and or organisations.
The Snap Forward Feminist Policy Network (SFN) is working to ensure a gender-responsive COVID-19 recovery over the immediate and longer term: we want a Snap Forward which also contributes to the achievement of gender equality. SFN brings together individuals, working independently or through their organisations, in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. We pursue multiple influencing avenues. This includes work to inform parliamentary and bureaucratic processes and policy settings, alongside work to address the gender norms which influence the different ways that people experience discrimination in the context of COVID-19, now and into the future.
The SFN, although initially formed in response to COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women, aims to take a long-term view. It is focused on the broader opportunity presented by this global disruption to transform Australia into a more resilient, inclusive and equitable society by 2030. As such the submission addresses immediate issues in the initial COVID-19 response, as well as making foundational recommendations for a longer-term economic and social recovery based on equity and inclusion, sustainability and resilience.
Snapshot: Like most disasters, the effects of COVID-19 are gendered and have and will continue to exacerbate existing inequalities in Australian society. However, we have an unprecedented opportunity to prepare to face future shared challenges, including climate change, by developing a more forward-facing, inclusive and resilient Australia. This will only be possible if our starting point is inclusion and equality for all. With this in mind, this submission makes 10 recommendations, which are expanded below:
We recommend - in summary:
- Ensuring gender equal and diverse representation on COVID-19 decision making bodies.
- Investing in data, including the ongoing funding of the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s Time Use Survey in 2020, and the production of an independent Annual Gender Equity Report.
- Mandating gender-responsive budgeting to be applied across the COVID-19 response and recovery, supported by a Treasury funded Gender Equality Budget Group and increased investment in public service capacity and accountability for gender analysis.
- Increasing job seeker payments on a permanent basis and ensuring that rent protection arrangements remain while COVID-19 related housing stress continues; monitoring effect of superannuation withdrawal on women’s balance. Longer term, reviewing the taxation and social security system to secure more equitable outcomes; and addressing the inequities in the superannuation system, including in relation to the paid parental leave scheme.
- Continuing free childcare as long as the JobKeeper program is in place; longer term, reviewing the current childcare system to position childcare as foundational to Australia’s economy.
- Supporting women’s diverse economic contribution, including by supporting women-led businesses and women in hospitality, arts, and culture workforces; while, longer term, focusing on protections for feminised workforces and reviewing the gendered experience of employment conditions and protections, and in parallel addressing the uneven distribution of unpaid labour and producing an Annual Gender Equity Report, interalia, to capture the contribution of women’s unpaid labour to the Australian economy.
- Increasing investment in violence prevention and services, developing specific public messaging for disaster contexts, and funding of the Five Safety First Principles in Family Law, developed by Women’s Legal Services Australia.
- Recognising and protecting women’s health services as essential, and ensuring priority access for these services to adequate personal protective equipment, while investing in public health messaging for promoting health literacy, and protecting investment in maternity services and breastfeeding.
- Directing stimulus investment toward social and public housing to address chronic community shortages of homes and support for women, with priority investment in women’s specialist homelessness services and culturally-sensitive housing solutions for First Nation communities.
- Investing in climate-resilient stimulus which maintains current protections and focuses on: full employment; renewable industries and sustainable Australian manufacturing; research and education including in STEM for women, girls, gender diverse people; and addressing gender gaps in adaptation-related industries and sectors.
Research about the impact of disaster across the globe, and in Australia following the Black Saturday Bushfires, has highlighted how gender roles become more rigidly adhered to during disaster, with mental and physical health as well as safety consequences for both men and women, including higher incidents of conflict and violence. Evidence also establishes that disasters lead to family violence incident spikes. In a pandemic, where there are prolonged periods of isolation within the home, the risk of gendered violence is even greater and COVID-19 is proving no exception, with aand digital searches on domestic violence.
Women have also been deeply impacted by COVID-19 in several other ways. Australian women:
- are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis; 55% of people unemployed in the last month are women, the majority of them part-time workers;
- are the frontline, essential workforce of the pandemic. In health care, aged & disability care sector, early childhood education, teaching, cleaning and retail, women have performed the majority of jobs required to keep Australians healthy, safe and nourished. Despite being in traditionally undervalued and low paying sectors, women workers have provided essential scaffolding on which the entire Australian social and economic structure relies—so fundamental the services can continue even when the risk of illness and death is high and
- are the unpaid carers and workers in the home. They are performing the larger share of unpaid care of young, aging, chronically ill and disabled loved ones. They are responsible for more of the domestic labour and household chores and the education support provided to children learning from home. In many cases, this work is a “double shift” performed after paid employment.
In addition to these burdens, women with intersecting attributes of disadvantage face additional pressures. We recognise that women with disabilities, First Nations women, young and older women, LGBTIQA+ people and women experiencing violence, and those who are migrant or on temporary and student visas, are also more likely to experience greater hardship and distress as a result of COVID-19.
In addition to these burdens, women with intersecting attributes of disadvantage face additional pressures.
Despite all the evidence of the gendered nature of disaster in Australia, analysis and policy responses have lacked gender nuance:
- The policy of early superannuation withdrawal was introduced with little recognition that the harm to women, whose retirement reserves are markedly lower than men, would be significant.
- One-off payments to “tradies” and small businesses with employees, failed to recognise the economic impact on self-employed women with micro-enterprises, who work for themselves as a way in which to maintain flexibility for caring responsibilities.
- While free childcare was a welcome announcement and one that should be continued into recovery, the policy needs extensive work to ensure that the largely female workforce is properly remunerated and businesses thrive under a universal structure.
With the experiences of women largely invisible in data collection and reporting and an absence of women’s voices in national decision making, there is a high risk that policy will be less effective, less equitable and less successful in positioning Australia for a sustainable economic recovery.
We have an opportunity to ‘build back better’ from recent disasters, including COVID-19. Addressing the drivers of inequality is critical to improving Australia’s social and economic resilience amidst great uncertainty about the future.
Gender equality must be central to recovery efforts. Our economic recovery depends on it. Stimulus, budgetary planning, business investment and job creation strategies must all be gender-equal. International studies repeatedly find gender equity produces better economic outcomes. Companies with more female executives achieve a 15% income boost (Bank of America), female chief executives outperform men by an average of 20% (SP Global) and fair employment practices deliver 13% higher revenues (Boston Consulting). The World Economic Forum, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations all recommend gender equity as a strategy to lift productivity. Economic recovery must be grounded in gender equity to fully maximise Australia’s potential.
Responses should “snap forward”, by recognising the economic and social devastation of disaster and immediately planning to avoid the effects of other foreseeable incidents in the future.
Similarly, our responses should also “snap forward”, by recognising the economic and social devastation of disaster and immediately planning to avoid the effects of other foreseeable incidents in the future, in particular the projected impact of climate change.
Before COVID-19, Australia experienced an unprecedented natural disaster during the Summer 2020 Bushfires with over 60,000 hectares burnt and cities choked with smoke. Australia had a face mask shortage long before the pandemic hit our shores. All the scientific evidence points to increased risk of fires and droughts as the climate warms. Our economic recovery must respond to the climate crisis and increase Australia’s climate resilience by limiting the impact of future climate change induced disaster and spurring economic recovery and job creation through investment in new industry.
The dual impact and learnings from COVID-19 and the Summer Bushfires provide a unique opportunity to address intergenerational inequality and create a new future.
However, there are significant barriers in the way of sustainable, equitable reform:
Data and analysis for equitable policy outcomes
An absence of data means that we will struggle to understand how different parts of the community experience and are affected by COVID-19, and how they might fare in the recovery period. Transparent reporting, supported by appropriate, disaggregated data is necessary to understand the differential impact of budgetary and other economic decisions on sex and gender. Such approaches may also benefit other cohorts with intersecting attributes such as age, geography, disability, race, cultural and linguistic diversity, migration or refugee status and socio-economic background. Due to Australian's history of colonisation and dispossession, Indigenous peoples have experienced poorer economic and health outcomes.
Due to Australian's history of colonisation and dispossession, Indigenous peoples have experienced poorer economic and health outcomes.
Given COVID-19 impacts people in ways that entrench economic disadvantage and increases the prospect of poor health outcomes of already at-risk groups, Australian economic modelling must be sophisticated enough to deliver an intersectional analysis—it cannot be one size fits all. Understanding how budgets impact differently on people must be critical to the recovery effort and ensure no-one is left behind.
Taxation, social security and fiscal policy
Inadequate data collection on the responsibilities and experiences of women both at home and in the economy—as both paid and unpaid workers, employers, and business owners—obscures gendered impacts and risks rendering the experiences of women invisible in current fiscal policy responses.
The gender ‘neutral’ operation of our taxation, wages and welfare systems means policy responses to gender inequality are ill-informed.
The gender ‘neutral’ operation of our taxation, wages and welfare systems means policy responses to gender inequality are ill-informed, and risk exacerbating existing inequalities and inefficiencies (such as very high effective marginal tax rates on women), or missing opportunities for economic productivity improvements which level the playing field for women (such as better support for work at home).
Women have been crucial to our ability to buffer the crisis, as they are the majority of the essential workers in health care, early childhood education and childcare, teaching, aged, disability and mental health care and retail trade workforces. Young women have also played a role in responding to the crisis and will experience the greatest economic impacts from COVID-19 over their lifetime both as future taxpayers and in their employment prospects. Young women also show remarkable leadership, resilience and innovation which can pave the way for inclusive and flexible responses if young women are engaged in decision making.
We have relied on women workers in many ways during this crisis. The commitment of Australian women to our healthcare, safety, wellbeing has occurred in circumstances where these professions have traditionally undervalued and consequently underpaid. In pandemic, their work has been highlighted as essential to a fully functioning economy and society—it is the scaffolding within which all other economic social architecture is built.
Housing, health and social services
Our reliance on homes in which to safely and productively shelter from the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the housing and financial vulnerability faced by many women, as well as its exacerbating of intimate partner violence against women. Concerningly, the pre-COVID-19 scarcity of regional social and affordable housing for women presents us with an increasingly alarming reality.
Women across Australia face specific housing challenges. They experience structural barriers such as lack of pay equity, gender inequality, and interrupted or limited earning capacity due to primary caring responsibilities. Women are more likely to experience economic insecurity as a result of relationship breakdown, separation and divorce, and they are more likely to reach retirement with much lower superannuation balances than men. First Nations women, young women, women with disability, older women, culturally and linguistically diverse people, as well as migrants and refugees, are particularly vulnerable.
Women are more likely to experience economic insecurity as a result of relationship breakdown, separation and divorce.
Shortages of personal protective equipment and rapid re-orienting of health services have illustrated the precariousness of women’s health services, include acute maternity care and sexual and reproductive health services, and the health risks facing the staggeringly gendered workforces in health, education and social care.
Increased time spent at home during COVID-19 has surfaced a huge reliance on women’s unpaid work and care in the home, the inadequacy, complexity and inflexibility of our childcare system.
All aspects of pandemic planning, response and recovery must be gender-equal, and consider and respond to the intersecting needs of the diversity of Australians. These recommendations speak to existing or immediate and urgent responses, as well as the focus of stimulus efforts. Where relevant, we have also included forward-looking recommendations that highlight the need for deeper consideration of the structural issues that underpin a more equal, inclusive and sustainable society and economy:
- Commit to gender-equal leadership: This is a once in a century health, economic and social crisis and it is not the time to bench 52% of the talent and expertise in the country. We need gender-equal leadership, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it will deliver better economic and social outcomes for Australia. While we welcome the inclusion of Catherine Tanna and Jane Halton, the COVID-19 Coordination Commission is not gender-equal, nor does it have adequate representation of the gendered economic sector, the “care economy” or social welfare sector to provide input from largely feminised industries at the frontline of the COVID-19 response. Facilitating the meaningful participation of women in decision making means doing so from an intersectional perspective—ensuring that women in all their diversity are represented in the implementation of COVID-19 responses and plans for recovery.
We recommend: that all decision making and implementation bodies directing and supporting the COVID-19 response and recovery have a target of 50% female participation, and aim for diverse sector, industry, and demographic representation, and that the make-up of relevant bodies is publicly reported, in line with current reporting practice for government-appointed boards.
2. Invest in gender-disaggregated data collection: Gender-disaggregated data and data on key aspects of women’s lives are critical to understand gendered experiences and to develop inclusive responses, including through gender-responsive budgeting.
A critical need in understanding the impact of COVID-19 on community is understanding its impact on the delicate balance between paid and unpaid labour and the gendering of this work during pandemics. With widespread social isolation in the home, it is anticipated that already known gendered attitudes and behaviour which limit women’s workforce participation and undervalue their contribution to the care and education of children and the maintenance of healthy and safe homes, will be exacerbated. Only a National Time Use Survey can provide the gendered economic data to understand what effect COVID-19 has had on women’s economic security.
i. protecting the ongoing funding of the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s Time Use Survey in 2020 and subsequently and
ii. production of an independent, Annual Gender Equity Report analysing and accounting for Australia’s performance against a number of gender equity indicators. This report would inform accountability requirements under a number of international instruments to which Australia is signatory, and address long term gaps in gender equality reporting, while also tracking the impact of COVID-19 stimulus and recovery through a gendered lens.
3. Commit to gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) so investments in recovery do not worsen or entrench gender inequality: GRB is a process of ensuring all policy options, particularly those related to budget, finance, welfare and taxation, draw on appropriate data and modelling to analyse the potentially different impacts of various policies on women and men. Such a process ensures that unintended gender impacts are known and moderated and that policies benefit the population as evenly as possible. This process should be supported by accessing advice from gender economists, academics and other experts on the differential impact of economic decision making on sex and gender, and on ensuring the capacity of policymakers to undertake appropriate analysis.
i. Treasury fund an independent Gender Equality Budget Group, drawing together representatives of women’s organisations, the academy, feminist economic advisors and the Australian Public Service to ensure post-COVID-19 recovery efforts are gender-equal and support the growth of economic architecture with a gendered lens. The group would be modelled on the UK’s Women’s Budget Group.
ii. the government return Australia to its role as a global leader in gender-responsive budgeting by
a. investing in the development of public service capacity to undertake gender analysis,
b. mandating GRB across policy-making and
c. legislating protection of gendered economic analysis and architecture.
4. Strengthen social protection: COVID-19 has shown that administration and design of social safety nets payments, the operation of the tax system and access to housing are inadequate for supporting diverse Australians.
We recommend: that the job seeker allowance be increased on a permanent basis, that rent protection arrangements remain until COVID-19 related housing stress eases and that there be close monitoring of the effect of superannuation withdrawal on women’s balances.
Looking forward, we recommend: a critical examination of the taxation and social security system that takes an intersectional approach to reforming the welfare system, with a specific focus on:
i. the economic and housing vulnerability of single parents;
ii. women’s lower incomes and reduced ability to save for home ownership and retirement;
iii. the negative operation of the spousal income/assets test;
iv. the operation of job seeker obligations against caring responsibilities, and provision of employment services to women;
v. the impact on young women as a large part of the health and social care workforces and
vi. women’s specific training or retraining needs
vii. addressing the inequities in the superannuation system, particularly with regard to removing the $450 per month threshold, and by adding superannuation to the paid parental leave scheme.
5. Extend access to free early childhood education: COVID-19 has revealed that paid childcare and early childhood education is an essential part of Australia’s economic infrastructure and underpins economic participation for men and women. We have also seen that the current system is complex and reliant on migrant workers, whose work status is vulnerable in a crisis, and on women who are themselves carers/parents and so vulnerable to school closures and other restrictions on care arrangements.
Neither the early childhood education (ECE) sector nor families reliant on ECE will have recovered from the impacts of COVID-19 in the immediate term, and access to free ECE should remain in place until the rate of recovery for families and the industry is clearer.
i. continuing free childcare as long as the JobKeeper program is in place;
ii. ensuring access to two (2) days—or up to 20 hours as recommended by Early Childhood Australia—free childcare and
iii. removing the activity test, as there is evidence that this is a major disincentive to people applying, particularly those on low incomes.
Looking forward, we recommend: an immediate and comprehensive review of the current childcare system which positions childcare as a public good and foundational to Australia’s economy.
6. Support women’s diverse economic roles: COVID-19 has revealed that women experience economic impacts differently, depending on their role in and relationship to the economy. COVID-19 has also uncovered the heavy reliance on women’s economic contribution, paid and unpaid, highlighting the need to develop evidence-based responses to support women’s economic contribution and participation. COVID-19 has provided considerable policy opportunities to embed data and learnings about the impact of household work on productivity, health and family relationships. It is important that we properly value unpaid labour and care work and develop policy solutions that enable address uneven distribution of unpaid labour.
i. development of specific responses to support women-led businesses during and post COVID-19, including micro-businesses
ii. support for women in hospitality, arts, and culture workforces who have had to adapt and diversify their income.
Looking forward, we recommend:
i. development of policies to support women’s formal economic participation with a focus on:
- longer-term responses and protections for feminised workforces disproportionately affected by disasters like COVID-19 (early childhood education, teaching, nursing, midwifery, disability, aged and mental health care, family violence prevention and response), which include improving safety, pay and conditions;
- reviewing the gendered experience of employment conditions and protections, especially for casual workers and those on temporary and student visas and
- continuing commitments to reduce the gender pay gap and the gender employment participation gap.
ii. producing an Annual Gender Equity Report to calculate and report the contribution of women’s unpaid labour to the Australian economy by analysing the value of this work to Australia’s gross domestic product.
iii. addressing the uneven distribution of unpaid labour, including through a focus on:
- policies to encourage more men to take parental leave and for longer;
- policies to support greater gender equity in the distribution of unpaid labour in the home and community and
- implementation of more flexible work practice, including through investment in remote digital technology and innovation.
7. Increase funding for preventing and responding to gender-based violence in crises and emergencies: Gender-based violence will increase in crises and disasters and preventing and responding to violence in disasters requires investment in intergenerational policy responses, initiatives and programs. The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children prioritises prevention investment, particularly gender equality projects. With the plan due to lapse in 2022, there is an urgent need for increased investment in this work. Investing in intergenerational violence prevention initiative not only addresses an endemic social problem, but stimulates a women’s workforce with the vast majority of employees in the violence prevention and gender equity sectors being women.
i. that investment in violence prevention and services be permanently increased, including through:
- an increase in violence prevention investment to a best practice level of 9-12.5% of response expenditure;
- surge investment in response and prevention services and
- investment in women’s specialist services and expansion of men’s behaviour change sector.
ii. development of specific public messaging for each context to be embedded in crisis and disaster planning and response.
iii. the funding of the Five Safety First Principles in Family Law, developed by Women’s Legal Services Australia.
8. Protect and invest in women’s health: The health services response to the COVID-19 crisis of cancelling or reallocating funding and resources has highlighted the precariousness of access to women’s health care needs, including essential sexual and reproductive health services, and acute maternity care services. There is also a risk that budgets for key women’s health services and processes will be diverted or reduced in the face of broader COVID-19 health responses.
i. that women’s health services, in particular, women’s sexual and reproductive health and assisted conception be considered as essential services, even when non-urgent and elective procedures are suspended; and that such services are provided in line with international standards for health delivery in crises;
ii. that women’s health services be prioritised for access to adequate personal protective equipment;
iii. investment in public health messaging for promoting health literacy in safer sex, which is responsive to the context of the disaster and evolving availability of contraception, other products and health services;
iv. maintaining a focus on maternity services, including a focus on addressing obstetric violence including through fast-tracking the maternity services review agenda on expanding the role of midwifery and out of hospital care and
v. continued investment in the COAG national breastfeeding strategy and investment in the collection of data on breastfeeding.
9. Invest in affordable and accessible housing as part of broader economic recovery: There is a critical and timely need for significant investment in social and affordable housing. Access to housing support is gendered, and prior to the pandemic, older women were the fastest-growing group at risk of homelessness in Australia. There is likely to be increased numbers of women escaping violence during the recovery period, and resourcing of women’s specialist crisis and emergency accommodation services is needed to reflect this need. Stimulus investment in housing is a proven strategy for stimulating the economy during COVID-19 and its recovery.
i. stimulus investment in social and public housing to address chronic community shortages of homes and support for women, with priority investment in:
- the expansion of women’s specialist homelessness and housing supports for women escaping violence, young women and older women identified as priority responses and
- culturally-sensitive housing solutions for First Nation communities, women escaping violence, young women.
10. Build economic recovery and jobs growth on an intergenerational commitment to health, wellbeing, climate justice and a just transition: Our response to COVID-19 must be based on investment in a future vision of Australia, not on draconian austerity measures or rebuilding fading industries. Now is the time for nation-building investment to secure the health and wellbeing of our people and our environment into the future. Our focus should be on full employment and climate justice.
Addressing climate change can form the foundation for inclusive economic growth, job creation and innovation we need to stimulate the Australian economy. A just transition, from a non-renewable resource industry towards greater investment and innovation in green and renewable industries and infrastructure would protect jobs and generate livelihoods to build a more inclusive and socially and environmentally sustainable society. A just transition has broadly distributed benefits, with a dividend for young people who will bear the brunt of both this current crisis and unchecked climate change. To ensure that women, who are disproportionately bearing job losses from the current crisis, benefit equally from these investments, efforts are needed to reduce gender segregation and workplace gender inequality in relevant industries and sectors. Such an approach should support First Nation community-led and -owned solutions to climate change, and recognise and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s knowledge of caring for the land, water, sky and ecosystems, and their ongoing connection to culture and sovereignty.
i. a full employment commitment achieved through nation building investment in economic and social infrastructure of the future;
ii. stimulus investment in renewable industries, sustainable Australian manufacturing, social housing, arts, crafts and culture and domestic tourism;
iii. investment in research and education, especially in the tertiary sector to promote Australian innovation and high-quality, internationally leading education and teaching;
iv. no winding back of environmental protection legislation in the name of recovery;
v. retraining/investment in STEM for women, girls, gender diverse people to ensure equitable leadership in adaptation-related industries and sectors and
vi. additional efforts to increase workplace gender and close gender pay gaps in adaptation-related industries and sectors.
This submission is endorsed by:
- Prof Kim Rubenstein, Co-Director, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, UC
- Dr Lyn Craig, Professor, University of Melbourne
- Dr Marian Baird, Professor, University of Sydney
- Dr Meredith Edwards, Emeritus Professor, University of Canberra
- Dr Julie Smith, Honorary Associate Professor, Australian National University
- Dr Caroline Lambert, Social Change Consultant
- Trish Bergin, Co-Director, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, UC
- Amy Haddad, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Consultant
- Virginia Haussegger AM, BroadAgenda
- Dr Pia Rowe, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra
- Dr Chris Wallace, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra
- 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra
- Equality Rights Alliance
- Gender Equity Victoria
- Gippsland Women's Health
- Jane Alver, University of Canberra
- Sally Moyle, Honorary Associate Professor, ANU
- Leisa Gibson, Senior Gender Advisor, Gender Equality
- Michelle Redfern, Managing Director, Advancing Women in Business and Sport
- Capital City Local Learning and Employment Network
- ANU Gender Institute, The Australian National University
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance
- Victorian Women’s Trust
- Women’s Health Barwon South East
- Women’s Health East
- Women's Health Goulburn North East
- Women's Health Grampians
- Women's Health in the North.
- Women's Health in the South East
- Women's Health in the West
- Women's Health Loddon Mallee
- Women's Health Victoria
- Women's Information Referral Exchange
- Women's Legal Service Vic
- YWCA Australia
- CBR Gals Network
- Dr Susan Harris Rimmer, Associate Professor, Griffith Law School
- Dr Jacqui True, Professor of International relations and Director of the Gender Peace and Security Centre, Monash University
- International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA)
- National Foundation for Australian Women
Sarah Boyd, The Gender Agency
- Scientia Professor Louise Chappell, FASSA Director, Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW
- Dr Christy Clark, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Governance, Business and Law, University of Canberra
- Hannah Dahlen AM, Professor of Midwifery, Western Sydney University
Frances Flanagan, Sydney fellow, University of Sydney
The Australian Work and Family Policy Roundtable
Dr Elizabeth Hill, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney
Dr Sara Charlesworth, Professor, RMIT
Professor Nareen Young, Industry Professor, Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney
Leanne Smith as Director of the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University
Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University
Women’s Legal Centre ACT
Associate Professor Fiona Jenkins, Convenor, ANU Gender institute, The Australian National University
Lisa Gulesserian, PhD Candidate, University of Sydney
Professor Rae Cooper, University of Sydney
Professor Ariadne Vromen, University of Sydney
Professor Elspeth Probyn , University of Sydney
Dr Sarah Mosseri, University of Sydney
Alison Williams (RA) , University of Sydney
Emma Dawson, Executive Director, Per Capita
Somali Cerise, Independent Consultant
Rob Sturrock, author and advocate on fatherhood, gender equality and healthy masculinity.
Henri Vickers, Co-director, Young Fabians
Suzanne Milthorpe, National Environment Laws Campaign Manager, the Wilderness Society
Associate Professor Gemma Carey, UNSW
Phil Barker, author
Evan Quartermain, Head of Programs, Humane Society International Australia
Anthony Nagy, Director, Policy Counsel
Associate Professor Michael Flood, QUT
Scientia Professor Carla Treloar, UNSW
Professor Chris Roche, La Trobe University
Dr John Falzon, Senior Fellow, Per Capita
Australian Women Donors Network
- Dr Leonora Risse, RMIT