All people should be liberated from all forms of oppression, discrimination or inequity based on gender or any other attribute. Equality is our human right and the basis for a strong, prosperous and fair society.
The SA Greens acknowledge that:
- Gender identity is fluid. Therefore when we refer to ‘women’ we acknowledge that this may also include transgender women, people who identify as agender, bigender, or non-binary, and others.
- Women living in remote and rural South Australia have specific access barriers that must be carefully considered when developing and funding services that they will utilise.
- There are a growing number of South Australian women from ATSI and other CALD backgrounds who also have diverse cultural and spiritual needs.
- Women with disability are at an increased risk of discrimination in all areas of society.
- Women in South Australia experience all forms of family violence, intimate partner violence and sexual violence at a much higher rate than men. They also experience more homelessness due to family violence.
- Women have specific health needs that change throughout their lifetime and therefore require well-funded, non-biased health services, including mental health services that adequately cater to their needs.
- Statistically women have a longer life expectancy than men, and thus can be expected to be the majority consumers of aged care services in an ageing population.
- Part-time workers include a much higher percentage of women in South Australia, while full-time workers are predominantly men. The gender pay gap in South Australia is still 16.7% in 2017.
- On average women can expect to retire with significantly less superannuation than men, leaving them vulnerable to financial disadvantage in old age.
- A significantly larger percentage of sole parents in South Australia are female.
- The diverse needs of women creates demand for gender-specific education, community based and workplace programs and services.
The SA Greens believe that:
- All people are to be empowered to participate equally in all spheres of society and have their human rights, experience, knowledge, work and other contributions valued and upheld without discrimination on the basis of gender.
- All forms of diversity, including gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status should be celebrated and valued. The rights of all women should be actively protected and promoted within our communities.
- All people have a right to live free from harassment, fear, violence and abuse. Prevention of and protection from gender-based violence should be a core priority of any society.
- All people are entitled to have the opportunity for equal representation and participation in decision making processes in all areas of political, social, cultural, intellectual and economic life.
- All people are to be enabled to make informed choices about all aspects of their lives, including education, health, sexual orientation and gender identity and sexual reproductive health and rights. Body autonomy is expected for all in a fair and equal society.
- All parents must be given the opportunity, encouragement and employment protection to enable them to be the primary carers for their children.
- Unpaid caring work is critical for a strong, prosperous and fair society. Caring is not the sole responsibility of women and women should not continue to be overrepresented in unpaid caring roles.
- All people should receive equal pay for equal work. Industries with a high representation of women within the workplace, including childcare, aged care, nursing and teaching should be afforded a high status commensurate with their contributions to society. There is no economic, social or other basis for devaluing or underpaying people based on gender.
- There is a requirement for wider community recognition of the increased economic disadvantages women face throughout their lifetimes, and the formation of nationally coherent strategies that address contributing factors.
- An accessible, non discriminatory social security system is vitally important to the protection of vulnerable members of our society, and must be defended against erosion.
The SA Greens want:
Equality in Work and Public Life
- A community that is fully aware of and aligns with international standards, conventions and treaties which are designed to eliminate discrimination against women (in addition to discrimination based on other attributes including race). These include the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women ( UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination, 1979), the Beijing Platform for Action (Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995), and Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UN Women, 2000).
- Reform of political processes to promote and support equal participation as required to achieve a society in which the voices and perspectives of all South Australians are heard, regardless of gender. This should include promotion and support of women standing as candidates for election and for public office, in particular women from at-risk groups within our community.
- Ongoing monitoring of, and research into women's status in society. Continued and improved funding for the independent South Australian State Office for Women, and guaranteed funding for critical women’s services.
- Affordable, quality and flexible childcare which is accessible to all parents. This may include incentives for on-site childcare facilities provided by workplaces.
- Flexible, family and carer friendly workplaces, offering flexible working hours and work from home options for all employees, regardless of gender.
- A commitment to urgently providing access to paid domestic violence leave (in addition to current leave entitlements) for employees.
- Affirmative action initiatives within local community leadership groups (such as councils) that promote and enable equal participation for all people in society. This should include increased funding for gender specific programs that recognise and respond to the specific access barriers that are faced by at-risk groups of women.
- Ongoing monitoring and public reporting on gender pay equity at all levels of the workplace. Commitment to equal pay for equal work.
- Immediate action to address underpayment in traditionally female-dominated industries such as childcare, aged care, nursing and teaching.
- The addition of compulsory employer superannuation payments to the paid parental leave scheme. This initiative will serve to urgently address the shortfall in retirement savings experienced by women when they temporarily leave the workplace after having children or to take on unpaid caring roles within the family unit.
- Abolishment of gender specific economic penalties such as the “tampon tax” and the price variance between identical products marketed to women as opposed to those for men.
Equality in Education
- Equal access to flexible and affordable educational opportunities - from early childhood through to adult learning - for all people, regardless of gender. All people are to be supported to re-enter education programs following absence due to family or caring responsibilities.
- Initiatives that promote equal participation for all people across a full range of career options in education services. Expansion and promotion of accessible pathways for girls and women into Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) and other non-traditional fields.
- Provision of centres for continuing education and training for all people to facilitate re-entry into the workforce following absence due to family or caring responsibilities.
- Provision of greater access to subsidised, flexible educational opportunities and resources for disadvantaged women, in particular young, single mothers and women from CALD backgrounds.
Equality in Health
- Full implementation of the Women’s Safety and Wellbeing Policy (Office for Women SA, 2017). The re-development and implementation of a current SA Women's Health Action Plan (Department of Health, South Australian Government, 2009) in line with world's best practice, and developed in consultation with the community.
- Enhanced community-based women's health, mental health and sexual and reproductive health services and access to inexpensive, subsidised birth control drugs and devices. Services and programs that are based on the provision of accurate information and treatment for women's health issues at all life stages.
- Aged care services that recognise that women are the primary consumers of aged and community care services in South Australia, and respond to their needs appropriately.
- Guaranteed access to free, legal and high quality abortion services, including unbiased counselling available for those wish to utilise it. To allow women to make personal health care choices free from intimidation, this must include the provision of safe access zones around abortion clinics .
- Provision of quality, Medicare subsidised pregnancy, maternity, childbirth and early childhood services, including support for home birth and access to midwife based services in the community.
- Enactment of legislation making forced sterilisation illegal. Enforcement of legislation prohibiting female genital mutilation.
Equality in Justice
- Initiation of relevant inquiries to ensure that the South Australian justice system delivers strong outcomes for all people, regardless of gender. A specific focus on the experiences of women and girls is required, including sexual harassment, trafficking of women, pregnancy discrimination and domestic violence.
- Fully funded support for legal services for women, in particular those that cater to the specific needs of at risk groups of women and girls within our community.
- Adoption of reform to ensure that criminal law concepts are applied appropriately to domestic or family violence situations. Full implementation of the Safety First in Family Law principles developed by Women’s Legal Services Australia (Women's Legal Services Australia, 2016)
- Provision of a supportive and appropriate environment for all people in correctional facilities. There must be a specific focus on women, especially those who have children residing with them.
- All personnel in the justice system to be provided with specific training relating to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and other gender related crimes.
- An increase in criminal compensation for victims of violent crime and abuse, including family and domestic violence.
- Repeal existing laws and refrain from introducing new laws that criminalise and or penalise the consensual exchange of sexual services between adults for remuneration. Ensure that there is no discriminatory enforcement of laws on vagrancy, loitering, or immigration requirements against sex workers.
- Address gender stereotypes, discrimination and structural inequalities that cause marginalisation and lead to individuals from at-risk groups selling sex in disproportionate numbers.
- Ensure the meaningful participation of sex workers in the development of law and policies that directly affect their lives and safety.
- Adoption of measures to prohibit and prevent all forms of early, child and forced marriage occurring or being socially or legally recognised in South Australia, including prevention of and protection for child brides.
A Safe and Equal Society
- Full implementation of the South Australia's Women's Safety Strategy 2011-2022. (Office for Women SA, 2011)
- Full implementation of a government-wide and whole of community approach to minimising and preventing domestic and family violence, informed by world’s best practice and community consultation, particularly community groups who promote the interests of at risk groups of women and girls.
- Provision of adequately funded and accessible women’s support services, including domestic violence and sexual assault centres and women’s legal services.
- Initiation of a national inquiry into State and Territory criminal laws and procedures relating to sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence including online sexual violence (‘e.g. ‘revenge porn’). Resultant legal reform should be based on world's best practice, address past barriers to successful prosecutions and remove all provisions previously relied upon to engage in 'victim blaming'.
- Increased availability and access to safe and secure accommodation for all people at risk of sexual assault or domestic or family violence.
- Increased funding for programs related to the prevention of intimate partner violence.
The Portrayal of Women in Public Life
- Strong, ongoing support for a community wide culture of respectful, diverse and empowering portrayal of women and their roles in all areas of society.
- A positive and respectful view of women in advertising and other media, especially the fashion industry; in particular advocating for the portrayal of a range of body types as healthy and normal.
- Maintenance of gender focused cultural studies units in the SA curriculum which include the analysis of gender stereotypes in popular culture. Inclusion of programs that educate about the social impact of materials that present women in particular as objects of sexual exploitation and violence, including internet pornography.
- Consistent enforcement of legislation related to the distribution of so-called “revenge porn”
(Women's Policy as amended by The Greens SA Policy and Campaigns Council 2017)
ATSI: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
CALD: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
LGBTI: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and/or Intersex
At-risk groups: refers to women who are from minority groups within the community, including women who are living with a disability. They are acknowledged to be at greater risk of experiencing discrimination, and encountering barriers when seeking access to specific services.
Australian Greens Women’s Policy
NSW Greens Women’s Policy
Women – Greens WA
Achieving Women’s Equality – South Australia’s Women’s Policy
Office of Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
Office of Tammy Franks, MLC South Australia
Office of Mark Parnell, MLC South Australia
Office for Women, Government of South Australia
UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination, 1979. Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women. [Online]
Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/ [Accessed 4th September 2017].
Department of Health, South Australian Government, 2009. South Australian Women’s Health Action Plan: Initiatives for 2010-2011. [Online]
Available at: http://www.womenshealthhub.awhn.org.au/south-australian-womens-health-a… [Accessed 4th September 2017]
Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995. Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995. [Online]
Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/ [Accessed 4th September 2017].
Office for Women SA, 2011. Office for Women - Safety and Wellbeing. [Online]
Available at: https://www.officeforwomen.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/5140/A… [Accessed 4th September 2017].
Office for Women SA, 2017. Office for Women - Safety and wellbeing. [Online]
Available at: https://officeforwomen.sa.gov.au/womens-policy/womens-safety [Accessed 4th September 2017].
UN Women, 2000. Landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security (Security Council resolution 1325). [Online]
Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/wps/ [Accessed 4th September 2017].
Women's Legal Services Australia, 2016. Safety First Family Law / Women's Legal Services Australia. [Online]
Available at: http://www.wlsa.org.au/campaigns/safety_first_in_family_law [Accessed 4th September 2017].