S4W acknowledges the high priority to engage with women from diverse backgrounds. Given this, S4W contracted researcher Maria Rickert who has recognised experience in outreach work and accessing women from diverse backgrounds. The objective of this activity was to conduct a research project to determine strategies to broaden the S4W Alliance network, particularly to engage with organisations and groups of women not previously associated with the Alliance, and also to review the governance and operational activities for decision making that have been successful within the Alliance. Findings will enable S4W to determine ongoing guidelines and benchmarks to ensure we meet our operational and aspirational goals.
The research project identified the following groups of women to engage with:
- Young women entering the workforce
- Mums in the mortgage belt
- Women working in low-skilled, casual and part-time jobs
- Older women who have left the workforce.
It was acknowledged that the focus on diversity in this project could be further deepened and extended with an added focus on marginalised women per se.
This report proposes a range of strategies to Security4Women, by which to engage with these groups of women and assist them to have their interests represented in public policy advocacy in Australia. Strategies are discussed in the context of engaging diverse women and in building capacity for networking and support for these groups.
This report also includes a list of some suggested women’s organisations and large non-profit peak bodies and umbrella organisations.
The implementation of these strategies will enable Security4Women to harness more fully the voices and interests of diverse Australian women in order to provide well informed input into national policy.
Effective strategies for engaging diverse women will demonstrate the following characteristics: –
- Be designed holistically and tailored to the needs of specific and diverse groups of women in a wide range of circumstances
- Be coordinated and integrated – whole of government, inter-sectoral and coordinated approach
- Recognise and build on the strengths and leadership of women and their families and communities
- Deliver measurable and tangible outcomes
- Be sustained and socially and ecologically sustainable
- Be cost effective
Demonstrate rigorous built-in monitoring and accountability mechanisms.
Click here to view the full report