Inaugural Women’s Economic Security Statement launched

Inaugural Women’s Economic Security Statement launched

Office for Women Economic Security
Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Greater choice for Australian Women: Women's Economic Security Statement 2018

The Women’s Economic Security Statement shines a light on the barriers that might limit women in building their financial security and focuses on practical measures to effect positive change.

The $109 million package of new initiatives and funding, launched by the Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer on Tuesday 20 November, targets key areas that promote greater choice for Australian women. It will help to boost their education and skills; increase their financial literacy and empowerment; and help them get a job or return to work. It will also help them to establish and grow their businesses; work with the private sector to close the flexibility gap and gender pay gap; and importantly, help improve their economic recovery following life changing events, such as separation or domestic violence.

The package is built around three pillars:

  • Workforce participation
  • Earning potential
  • Economic Independence

Measures to increase women’s workforce participation ($54.8 million over four years):

  • Reinstate the Time Use Survey, a contemporary evidence base to measure women’s economic security.
  • Improvements to Workplace Gender Equality Agency systems to enhance Australia’s gender equality data and reduce the cost of reporting for business.
  • Establish the Reducing Barriers to Work Forum.
  • Increase flexibility in the Parental Leave Pay system and extend access through changes to the work test.
  • Support regional employers through the Career Revive initiative to develop action plans for their business to attract and retain women returning to work after a career break.
  • Scholarships for women in economics and finance through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program.

Measures to support women’s economic independence ($35.6 million over four years):

  • Specialist Domestic Violence units and Health Justice Partnerships, including for financial support services.
  • Extend early release of superannuation for victims of domestic and family violence.
  • Expand the no Interest Loan Scheme run by Good Shepherd Microfinance to women experiencing family and domestic violence to assist with the expenses of rebuilding their lives, such as rental bonds.
  • Legal assistance funding to ensure victims of family violence are protected from direct cross-examination by their perpetrators in family law matters.
  • Improve the visibility of superannuation assets in family law proceedings.
  • Providing family law property mediation.
  • Establish a new Small Claims Property pilots program.

Measures to improve women’s earning potential ($18.6 million over four years):

  • Expand the Curious Minds program.
  • Establish a Future Female Entrepreneurs program in partnership with the private sector.
  • A new grants program, Boosting Female Founders to ensure women can access the finance they need to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

More information is available in the Women’s Economic Security Statement.