eS4W’s Lifelong Economic Wellbeing for Women in Australia project provided an informed dialogue with a diverse range of women in Australia to determine their perceptions of and issues relating to their economic security and wellbeing across their lifecycle. The study included forums and an online survey and revealed the economic challenges and/or opportunities that impact on women economic wellbeing and to inform eS4W’s public policy advocacy on matters that impact women.
The Lifelong Economic Wellbeing for Women in Australia research (2015) reports that the economic wellbeing of women comprises of a number of divergent elements that emerge and come to the fore as different concerns reflected at different periods of a woman’s life. These concerns intersect around four key areas across a person’s lifetime:
Financial security | Emotional and social safety and security | Freedom and choice | Equality of choice and opportunity
From the research and data collection of Stage 1, emerging issues were identified and Draft Discussion Papers were developed. Focused on the financial and economic impacts on women’s wellbeing, these issues showed across all areas and were overarching issues affecting women’s lifelong economic security and wellbeing:
- Coping with the Hazards of Separation: Divorce, Separation, Single Parenting and Women’s Lifelong Economic Wellbeing
- A Pervasive Malice from Bedroom to Workroom: Domestic Violence and its impact on Work
- A Lack of Fair Sharing: The Care Economy
- Women’s Financial Marathon to $urvival: Women’s Income in Later Life
Promoting women’s ability to secure decent work, predictable, sustainable and liveable incomes, equitable access to career progress, accumulate relevant assets, and a life without fear of violence, neglect and the feminisation of poverty, is critical.
The capacity of women to participate in, contribute to and benefit from growth processes in ways that recognise the value of their contributions, respect their dignity and make it possible to negotiate a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth.
External factors can influence our financial situation. For example changes in mortgage interest rate, changes in price of rent, job loss, changes in family structure, increased caring of children and/or the elderly, domestic violence, separation and/or divorce, etc.
Most people in Australia participate in the labour force at some stage in their lives, with paid employment of importance financially and personally. Labour force participation changes as people join or leave the labour force, and may be affected by other decisions such as combining work with study or family responsibilities.
There are a range of income inequalities that impact both on economic security in later working life and after retirement. For example – Transitioning to retirement, as a self-funded retiree, Age Pensioner or self-employed.