Unprecedented times for women
As we write to you, women in Australia are facing unprecedented uncertainty. The Pandemic is exacerbating already serious gender injustices and inequalities in Australia and around the world. WEL and our allied organisations are responding on many fronts.
We are witnessing: increases in domestic violence, women taking on greater burdens of care in the home, restricted access to reproductive health for refugee women, the Black Lives Matter protests against Australia’s prolonged history of racist injustice, women’s homelessness, poverty and escalating unemployment- with women’s industries and casual work being especially hit. (You can read WEL’s full statement on Black Lives Matter in this newsletter).
Through ‘Women Ageing Well’, WEL plans to make affordable housing for women a key element of Australia’s Covid recovery strategy. This newsletter tells you more about this important campaign.
You will see that we’re ‘thinking big’ with the Women Ageing Well campaign. This is because the times demand big feminist solutions. To do this we really need you to dig deep.
Meanwhile, the Federal Governments’ Job Keeper Program has excluded many casual workers and young women’s jobs have been especially hit in industries such as hospitality, the arts and entertainment.
WEL has responded to the Morrison Government’s June 8 decision to target the Childcare industry as first in the line for withdrawal of JobKeeper. This is an industry where 97% of the approximately 160,000 workers are low paid women. The Government will also reintroduce fees for childcare, in a move that is likely to mean some centres will close and more low paid women’s jobs will go.
Finally some good news- yes you read it! The Morrison Government has put the Religious Discrimination Bill on the back burner. WEL and many other organisations, including the Human Rights Commission itself, campaigned strongly against this draft legislation. We have achieved at least a temporary win. The Bill had almost no support outside the most conservative religious communities, so it is unlikely we will see it return in its current form.
Read on to learn more about our 2020 campaign Women Ageing Well, and how you can help us drive a more equitable recovery from this pandemic.
EOFY appeal: don't miss the deadline!
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic could reverse women’s progress towards gender equality - unless we take action. Many more women will face poverty. Many will suffer housing insecurity and the shame and destitution of homelessness. We need your support to help combat this imminent threat to the social and economic advances made by Australian women over the last four decades.
With your end of year financial donation WEL can employ campaign and administration staff to activate the tireless efforts of volunteers across all WEL’s work, including the Women Ageing Well campaign.
For WEL to keep on delivering in this time of crisis we need your financial support. Your donations power the WEL engine each week, and keep us going each year. Donate before the end of the financial year (30 June 2020) and receive a tax deduction.
- End of Financial Year Tax deductible donations
The Women’s Electoral Lobby provides Tax Deductibility through the National Foundation for Australian Women’s portal, HERE. Select Women’s Electoral Lobby (NSW) or Women’s Electoral Lobby (Australia) from the ‘organisation or fund’ drop down list under ‘Donation details’.
- Donate direct to WEL lobbying and campaigns
If you do not wish to claim a tax deduction on your donation you can make your donation HERE.
Women Ageing Well: Our new campaign
Over the next 18 months, the Women Ageing Well campaign will build a community of allies and support, and will lobby the NSW and Federal Government to:
- Lower the qualifying age for priority social housing in NSW, currently 80 years of age
- Increase the supply of social housing by an extra 5,000 homes a year for the next 10 years through inclusion of social housing infrastructure into the NSW Government’s post-pandemic investment
- Provide adequate and sustainable funding to meet demand for homelessness services, and ensure that they respond to the needs of culturally diverse communities, and women and children who need them
- Improve protections for and assistance to renters by amending the NSW legislation to increase protections for vulnerable women of all ages
- Increase funding of specialist women’s refuges and other front-line services dealing with violence against women from the Commonwealth/State fund, based on policy and reform proposals that put the safety and well- being of women and children first.
Together with our feminist partners WEL will also address the key policies driving women into social, emotional and financial insecurity.
Events (recent and upcoming)
Thank you for all of those that attended the online trivia event! We had 12 teams compete for the title and everyone got involved in the singing and dancing bonus rounds. It was great to 'meet' so many supporters from around the country that we would otherwise not be able to see at our Sydney events. We had great feedback about the event and we cannot wait for the time when we can host our in person trivia. This event, although designed more as a way to bring people together, than fundraise, in fact raised over $1000 for WEL, so we would like to say a huge thanks to those that bought tickets and donated extra on the night. We could not do the valuable work we do, without your support.
Below is some of the feedback from participants:
"Thank you WEL team...wonderful and patient approach" "That was a lot of fun." "Excellent way to get together - yay team!"
'Women And Girls In A Time Of Crisis'
This Weekend – 27 – 28 June 2020
The program has been announced for the first 24-hour online WOW Festival – WOW Global 24 – with the overarching theme of 'Women and Girls in a Time of Crisis'. WOW Global 24 will analyse the issues, explore solutions, spotlight what is already being done, and hear from women, girls and people of all genders who are working towards a better, post Covid-19 world.
The free 24-hour online Festival, this weekend (27-28 June) hosted by UK based charity The WOW Foundation, has been planned in response to the separation, deprivation and inequalities brought about and exacerbated by Covid-19. Black Lives Matter has increased WOW’s sense of urgency. It has been curated by teams from all over the world including the USA, Pakistan, Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Nigeria, the UK, Brazil, Australia (Of One Mind/WOW Australia) and India.
Feminist Tunes playlist
Don't forget about our new initiative to give you a lift during the COVID-19 period - a playlist of uplifting feminist songs! The Women’s Electoral Lobby 'Feminist Tunes' playlist contains empowering, upbeat, feminist songs and songs by women, designed to bring us together.
To enjoy our playlist, sign up to Spotify for free. You can also add your own songs that fit the theme.
Help us bring our community together by sharing the playlist with your friends, especially those who need a boost right now. Let us know your favourite song, why it gives you a lift and we may share it on our Facebook page!
Black Lives Matter
The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) expresses its support of the Black Lives Matter movement currently sweeping the globe. There is no doubt that systemic racism exists in all our societies preventing Black people and People of Colour of all nations from having a full and equitable life. Institutional racism has been embedded in the structures and systems of Australian society from the time of our country’s colonisation in 1788. This must end.
We therefore express our solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their struggle to end legal and social injustice including those evident in the criminal justice system.
WEL stands firmly with First Nations people and calls for full implementation of the recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. WEL also lends its voice to moving to implement the Uluru Statement from the heart to bring real equity and justice to Indigenous people.
For important resources on anti-racism, please see this link compiled by the Victorian Women's Trust.
Ways to support WEL
WEL is a member based organisation and we rely on the contributions of our members, so we urge you to join, or renew your membership. If you become a member NOW and give us your address, we can send you a Welcome Pack that includes WEL bookmarks, postcards, stickets and more!
Donations also keep WEL going and we are grateful to our donors for the generous support provided. If you wish to donate, please do so here. You can also help secure the future of WEL by leaving a legacy gift via a bequest.
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