Select Page


Australian Care Economy

Education & Training

Paid Maternity Leave

The buoyant Australian economy needs increased workforce productivity to continue to grow. Australian families need family friendly working environments to allow increased productivity. Healthy families come from healthy parenting. Australian children and their parents need to have Opportunities for new parents to bond with their newborns Family friendly working environments on parents’ return to work, Access to good quality and affordable child care, and The children need love and hugs to grow into healthy adults. Australian businesses need Government policies to help achieve this. Access to paid maternal and paternal leave cannot be left to market forces. Currently, although 77% of women in the finance and insurance industries have access to paid maternity leave, only 1% of women in the retail sector are covered, and 2% in hotels and restaurants: most women work part time, most are in the industries with no cover.

Many small businesses cannot afford to pay for maternity or paternity leave, and many have difficulties managing where staff have extended leave from work. Rural women whose work is essential to the family farm have no coverage at all. This coalition of small business organisations, women’s organisations, and child development groups calls upon each major political Party Leader commit to the following: To establish on forming Government an expert committee to examine and advise on the options to achieve a cost-effective universal system of paid maternity and paternity leave for Australian families; To publish the report of the expert committee, and To undertake to implement the recommendations of the expert committee within two years.

More resources are available here

Other reports

Too Big To Ignore – “Future of Australian Women’s Housing 2006 -2025”

Read More

CEDAW resource kit and material on CEDAW and the Human Rights Treaty system

Women’s Rights Action Network Australia – CEDAW training and resource kit (PDF 220KB)

UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Security Council Resolution 1325 was passed unanimously on 31 October 2000. It invited Secretary-General Kofi Annan to “carry out a study on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace-building and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution.”

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (PDF 36KB)

Lifelong Learning for Women – Policy Paper

“Lifelong Learning: work related education and training; meeting the needs of Australian women” S4W in collaboration with WAVE, invested in a major research project with the focus on lifelong learning, particularly work-related education and training, for women and girls. This project consisted of five small-scale (vignette) research projects to investigate identified priority areas.

The research was funded through the Australian Government’s Office for Women (OfW) and enabled S4W to propose policy direction and strategic suggestions to better facilitate economic security for women. The research agenda was set within the broad global/local context of lifelong learning and OECD global policy priorities.

Work related education and training – meeting the needs of Australian women (PDF 398 KB)

What Women Want

A strong alliance of national women’s organizations seeks to examine the potential impact on women of working age (in particular on low income women, sole parents and women with disabilities) of the legislative changes to income security or ‘welfare to work’, and the changes to the Industrial Relations framework, and the likely interaction of the two sets of policy changes. Now the legislation has been enacted the What Women Want project has turned its attention to establishing some robust benchmarking of women’s wages and conditions through a new research project ” Women’s pay and conditions in an era of changing workplace regulations” The first stage has been funded by NFAW, WEL and HREOC and it involves a comprehensive “stock-take” analysis of available data to identify key indicators of women’s pay and employment conditions and develop current benchmarks.

The second stage, which is not fully funded (please go to NFAW website for details about how you can contribute) involves a case study of 100 women across Australia as a way of understanding how, if at all, the legislative framework is impacting on their employment conditions. This part of the project has been designed with the potential to become a longitudinal study that tracks women’s experiences of workplace change over time. We envisage the research arising from this two-part project will play a critical role in informing the Australian Fair Pay Commission’s deliberations and the monitoring undertaken through various institutions. Download Workshop Proceedings, NATSEM modeling on the impacts of proposed changes on sole parents and people with a disability and Press releases here:

Working Women’s Centres

There are Working Women’s Centres in Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. The Centres provide information, support, advocacy and advice to women on work-related issues.

They also recommend other services in Victoria (JobWatch) and Western Australia (Women’s Law Centre and Employment Law Centre) where there is not a WWC.

You can find out more about the Working Women’s Centres here.

On this site you will find information on Your rights at work, Awards and agreements, Workers compensation and health and safety, Work and family, Discrimination and harassment, Workplace bullying and Dismissal.

*Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view PDF files. If you do not have it, download it for free from Adobe’s Acrobat Page

  • Engagement with grass-roots organisations through roundtables to inform what the women of Australia require to obtain economic wellbeing
  • The re-establishment of the Time Use Survey
  • Removal of the $450 threshold to earn Superannuation
  • The implementation of paid parental leave to increase women’s workforce participation
  • Girls can do anything project highlighting that STEM based subjects are for women too
  • Collaborating with policy makers on the care economy and the impact on women’s economic security and workforce participatio


  • Leadership programs established with partner organisation Femeconomy – Economic Security for Women program
  • eS4W responded to the Inquiry into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic first interim report. eS4W was one of the witnesses to the inquiry who presented to the Committee (Represented by Roselynne Anderson, eS4W’s Chair and Sharen Page, eS4W’s Finance & Project Officer).  eS4W’s Submission was referred to a number of times in the report.