August 23, 2017

Federal Labor’s Status of Women Committee was in Alice Springs this week to talk with local women about the sorts of government policies that could make a real difference to their lives.


Northern Territory Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said she invited the committee to Alice to ensure that regional women had a voice in Labor’s gender consultations, which are being undertaken across the nation.


“Labor has a proud record of advancing women’s rights, but there’s so much more to be done, including tackling domestic violence, addressing economic inequality and improving women's health,” Senator McCarthy said.


“Committee members held two consultations with local women who talked about the very specific challenges they face and the sorts of policies that might be able to help.”


Committee Chair Sharon Claydon said the committee’s first consultation with Tagentyere Women’s Family Safety Group focused on the work they’re doing to address domestic violence.


“Their message was loud and clear. Tangentyere wants what any community would want for their women – to live to their full potential, free from racism and violence,” Ms. Claydon said.


“It was incredible to see firsthand what Tangentyere had achieved in developing culturally-specific programs and resources to prevent and address family violence. We talked about the ways the government might better support important grassroots initiatives like these.”


Committee Secretary Emma Husar said the second consultation included women from the community, housing, and multicultural sectors.


“The common thread from our consultations is a need for housing, specifically for women. This community has a 21-bed men's hostel but nothing for women,” Ms Husar said.


“Lack of safe and affordable housing is also having an impact on women in Alice Springs, which is affecting education and employment outcomes, as well as impacting and being a cause in family violence.


“These consultations have really helped inform our policy going forward. We're grateful for the contributions made by the participants in these sessions.”


Labor’s ‘Setting the Agenda’ consultation series is being led by Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Women Tanya Plibersek and the Status of Women Caucus Committee to inform the development of Labor’s gender equity blueprint.