Australian Gender Equality Council launches

Article by Loren Bridge
Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia / 18 September 2018

The Alliance is proud to be a founding member of Australia’s first independent, national body dedicated to driving gender equality which launches today. The Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC) has a member network representing over 500,000 women and girls, all of whom seek the same rights and opportunities when it comes to pay, superannuation and treatment in the workplace and society.

AGEC has the following four driving principles:
1. To act as an authoritative and independent voice for gender equality in Australia
2. To advocate for and raise awareness of gender equality in Australia
3. To develop research driven policy in the area of gender equality in Australia
4. To raise awareness of the impact upon gender equality of policy and legislation

AGEC Chair Victoria Weekes said “We are so excited to launch the Australian Gender Equality Council today, in a bid to finish the fight that our predecessors started. Through being independent and unbiased AGEC will provide a free and fair view of the true state of gender equality in Australia.”

AGEC, in partnership with its member network detailed over the page will drive a cultural shift in Australia’s attitudes towards gender equality through national campaigns underpinned by rigorous empirical research.

To mark the launch, AGEC has released its campaign video, titled “It’s Time.” The video acknowledges the work and efforts of the suffragettes and the feminist movement of the 1970s. Change is again in the wind represented by a swell of momentum across the globe; this current change is what is known as the ‘third wave’. The video questions how far women have come since then, with statistics such as women earning 23% less than men, 1 in 5 women experiencing sexual violence after the age of 15, women having 42% less superannuation than men, girls receiving 27% less pocket money than boys, and 1 in 2 women being discriminated against at work for being mothers*. It concludes with an invitation to all viewers – women and men – to help finish the fight.

AGEC is asking everyday Australian women and men to help fund this message onto mainstream media in Australia. The video can be viewed below, or on YouTube or the AGEC website, www.agec.org.au. Any person or corporate wishing to either donate to the ‘It’s Time’ campaign, or to AGEC itself to assist with its research and advocacy, are able to do so at http://www.agec.org.au/its-time.

AGEC’s initial research projects include understanding the origins of gender segregation in the Australian workforce, what constitutes successful practice for workforce organisations seeking gender equality, and understanding the impact of Australia’s child care system on working women. These collaborative research projects are led by AGEC’s Managing Director Dr Terry Fitzsimmons, with participation by AGEC’s members. Dr Fitzsimmons, who is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership at The University of Queensland Business School, said “Through our members and expert network, AGEC is well-positioned to lead these innovative and priority research projects on behalf of the working women of Australia. We firmly believe the important insights generated by our independent research will help us to drive meaningful change for all Australians through government policy, workplace practices and national conversations.”