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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . .

Page.. 2487..


Canberrans to get involved in our community. The Ministerial Advisory Council on Women, with the support of the Office for Women, have developed an innovative approach to tackling this complexity. I am thankful for their dedication and leading role in this work.

This new plan takes the structure of an overarching framework which sets out the key directions and priorities in relation to the ACT government's work in the area of improving outcomes for women and girls living in the ACT, particularly for women who are vulnerable or who experience discrimination.

The priority areas to be addressed in the ACT women's plan 2016-26 are women's health and wellbeing, women's access to stable and affordable housing, women's right to safety at home and in the community, and women's economic security and leadership. The plan also sets out a course of action to introduce targeted measures to improve outcomes for women who are at heightened risk of discrimination. Key to understanding and responding to the needs of all women and girls is an understanding of the intersection of gender and other factors such as culture, disability, sexuality, experience of violence and economic status.

The ACT women's plan 2016-26 pays particular attention to developing a rich understanding of these intersecting factors and how women can best be supported to improve their capacity to take part in the economic and social life of our city. Three action plans will be developed over the life of the plan. Each action plan will be finalised through consulting across government and with the community through the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women. Focusing on priority areas will enable each plan to delve deeply into the impacts of intersecting discrimination in order to deliver positive outcomes for all women.

It is important to appreciate that women's safety is a key priority of this government and that this plan complements and supports the ACT's efforts to address domestic and family violence against women and their children. As a government and a community we recognise that gender inequality is driving domestic violence. Domestic violence is not an isolated act. It is the hard end of the spectrum of social norms and behaviours that perpetuate the idea that women are not equal to men. There has been significant progress in the past decades, but this message is still enforced too often in all areas of our community.

When women are paid less for the same role as men, when the workplaces they dominate remain the lowest paid in the country, when one in two mothers report workplace discrimination and when women make up less than 30 per cent of the federal cabinet, the message is sent loud and clear that women's contributions are worth less than those of men. This plan recognises that if we are going to achieve equality, it is not enough just to improve the statistics. It is not enough to have a segment of Canberra's women enjoying equality. We need to ensure that ability, race, sexuality, culture and language are never impediments to a woman's inclusion and enfranchisement in our community.

This is a real plan to deliver on the commitment that the ACT government has made to addressing gender violence, which includes the ACT prevention of violence against


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