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Founder's Weekly 22nd Apr 2022: Have your say on climate change and the other big issues that matter to women

Climate change and gender equality are high on the list of what matters most to women + human rights suit filed against NAB

Fellow remarkable women,

Like the majority of you reading this, I am a member of a gender who, since 1902, has been able to cast a vote.

If you are an Indigenous woman, however, that right wasn’t given to you until 60 years later.

But, now we all have a voice, and we are 51% of the Australian population, let’s continue to use it for the issues that count.

A new survey shows women believe those are climate change, domestic and family violence and housing affordability.

What matters to you and where do you want to see gender equality in two, five, or ten years’ time?

It’s a question worth thinking about when casting your vote in a week given some politicians seem to be tone deaf to female voices.

Climate change is the number one issue

As the Australian election campaign kicked off, we were eagerly waiting for both leaders to address issues that concern women.

Instead the Prime Minister  refused to disendorse Warringah candidate Katherine Deves after her disrespectful comments on transgender issues and upset mothers everywhere by saying he was “blessed” not to have children with a disability. 

It’s not a good start for gender equality or, indeed, for the rights of all Australians to lead a happy, productive life. 

But our concerns are much wider than just these: as women, and voters, we want to hear about real action on climate change and yet this has received very limited air time from the main candidates so far. 

That in spite of  a survey of 1,000 women by Women’s Agenda that found 83 per cent said it was one of the top three policy areas they want to see politicians giving more attention to.

Both the Coalition and the Labor Party remain committed to fossil fuels.

The second highest policy area women want action on is domestic and family violence, listed by 44% of respondents.

Thirty-three per cent also listed “aged care” in their top three, followed by “housing affordability” (30%) and Indigenous Affairs (25%).

To be more informed about candidates’ plans to save the planet, you can find out about the major political parties’ climate policies  here.

“Boys’ club” culture complaint filed against big bank  

A National Australia Bank (NAB) employee is taking the company to Federal Court in a case that is sure to shine the spotlight on gender issues.

NAB employee Dikele Diawara alleges she was subject to years of negative behaviour by her boss and has accused the bank of failing to act on her complaints, according to reporting from The Australian.

In a Federal Court filing, she has also pointed the finger at other members of the “overwhelmingly male” trading team. 

Diawara, a Black Woman from France, alleges she was underpaid, racially and sexually discriminated against, and suffered financial loss as well as distress and anxiety.

NAB has stated that it takes Diawara’s allegations extremely seriously and is committed to supporting equality and diversity in the workplace.

Watch this space! 

From tennis star to children’s author and pro golfer

What’s next for three-time Grand Slam champion Ash Barty? 

She is set to collaborate with First Nations’ Women including writer Jasmin McGaughey and illustrator Jade Goodwin to release a series of children’s books with publisher HarperCollins called ‘Little Ash’.

Barty also has plans to visit rural communities and read the book to “remind a generation of readers… of the joys and benefits of book-reading”.

And, if that’s not a big enough commitment, she is also working with publishing house HarperCollins to write her memoir and she’s announced that she will be playing in a global golf tournament in New Jersey, alongside some of sport’s biggest names.

Barty will be a headline act in the Icons Series which will take place in the US in June.

The tournament is expected to be televised live in Australia so you will have a chance to see if she can take more honours in this sport too.

Congratulations Ash! 

Historic appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson to The Supreme Court Justice 

In the United States, the Senate has  voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as Justice, meaning after 233 years, the US Supreme Court will finally have representation from a black woman.  

She currently sits on Washington DC’s federal appellate court and will be sworn in sometime in the American summer. 

We’re celebrating for Ketanji Brown Jackson and this progress for women.

But we’d also like to see more representation of women and Indigenous peoples in positions of power in our own courts. 

Across Australia,  there are only two First Nations Judges, Judge Matthew Myers AM (Federal Circuit Court) and Judge Nathan Jarro (District Court of Queensland) and there are no First Nations female Judges.

That needs to change.

Make your opinion count,
Shivani

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