The six National Women’s Alliances (the Alliances) represent over 180 women’s organisations. They bring forward the views, voices and issues of Australian women and, in particular, women from marginalised and disadvantaged groups. The Alliances take the lead in ensuring that the voices of as many women as possible are heard, especially those who in the past have found it difficult to engage in advocacy and decision making.
The role of the Alliances is twofold:
- bring together women's organisations and individuals from across Australia to share information, identify issues that affect them, and identify solutions
- engage actively with the Australian Government on policy issues as part of a better more informed and representative dialogue between women and government.
The Alliances are made up of a mix of issues-based and sector-based women's groups each with a distinct focus and a strong capacity for networking and advocacy activities.
The issues-based Alliances are:
- economic Security4Women (eS4W)
- Equality Rights Alliance (ERA)
- Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA)
The sector-based Alliances are:
- National Rural Women's Coalition (NRWC)
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance (NATSIWA)
- Harmony Alliance
Information on Alliances
The focus of Economic Security4Women (ES4W) is an alliance of women’s organisations united in the belief that economic wellbeing and financial security are essential for women and will enable women of all ages to have an equal place in society. ES4W advocates for changes to policies which continue to impact negatively on women's workforce participation and their long term economic well-being. Some issues identified by ES4W as impacting on the economic security of women include pay equity, access to relevant and affordable education and training, access to financial planning and superannuation, child care, unpaid carer needs and retirement income equity. More information about this Alliance can be found at Economic Security4Women.
Equality Rights Alliance
The Equality Rights Alliance (ERA) is a network of 62 non-government organisations and social enterprises, the lead organisation being the YWCA Australia. The Alliance advocates for women’s equality, leadership and diversity. ERA works towards strengthening women’s equality in law, housing, health, and economic and social policy. Over the past year ERA has played a lead role in the writing of a collective budget submission from National Women’s Alliance members focusing on affordable housing, tax reform and childcare, with current projects focusing on affordable and appropriate housing for women, women’s engagement with human rights international processes, putting a gender lens on federal budgeting and policy-making and engaging young women in the development of the national sex education curriculum. For further information on ERA go to Equality Rights Alliance.
Australian Women Against Violence Alliance
The Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) is an issues based Alliance, with its key area of focus being combatting all forms of violence against women, to ‘ensure that all women and children are able to live free from all forms of violence and abuse’. The Alliance recognises that gender violence is both a consequence and cause of gender inequity in all sectors of society and so it must be addressed by promoting women’s empowerment. For more information go to Australian Women Against Violence Alliance.
National Rural Women's Coalition
The National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) provides a powerful collaborative national voice for women living in rural, regional and remote Australia. The NRWC’s wide reaching networks, via the current Directors representing the peak national and state rural women’s organisations, support the growth of vibrant rural, remote and regional Communities throughout Australia. The NRWC is a strong organisation as it delivers its core activities of advocacy for women; influencing policy and decision-making; building capacity within women’s organisations and for rural, remote and regional women; reflecting the diversity of the women’s sector; and delivering innovative leadership projects, using innovative communication strategies. Further information on the National Rural Women’s Coalition can be found at National Rural Women’s Coalition.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA) seeks to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to have a strong and effective voice in the policy advocacy process. NATSIWA works to deepen the skills Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have in telling their stories, identifying solutions for individuals and communities, and advocating for powerful and long-lasting change. It seeks to be an Alliance that brings Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s voices to both priority issues for government, and to emerging and hidden issues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities are facing, while being able to respond to government when it needs to consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
Whilst aiming to strengthen the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to influence policy through advocacy and representation, they also seek to build the capacity of other Alliances to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s issues. For more information see the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance website.
The Harmony Alliance is the platform for migrant and refugee women to engage directly with the Australian Government on issues that affect them and to work with the Government to identify solutions to these issues.
The Harmony Alliance aims to utilise the knowledge and experience of women with a migrant and refugee background in order to influence the systems that impact on their safety, health and wellbeing, and their economic empowerment.
Migration Council Australia (MCA), an independent national body with a focus on migration and settlement policy, practice and research, leads the Harmony Alliance.