Women’s Community Health Network Pre-Budget Submission
WCHN has prepared its latest Pre-Budget Submission, focusing on the critical issues of:
- Preventing and responding to violence against women and their children.
- Affordable housing and homelessness services for women and children.
- Investing in gender equity.
- Sustainable and integrated services for women and their families.
Due to the gender pay gap, lower superannuation savings, lone parenthood, high levels of unpaid caring and domestic and family violence many women experience poor health and material outcomes. In addition, women through their unpaid care work, have had to bridge many of the gaps caused by cutbacks in public services and supports. Lone parents (87% women) rely heavily on public services and infrastructure.
Alongside the personal and social impacts of domestic and family violence there is also an economic impact. Budget 2017 needs to send a strong signal that we are dedicating the necessary resources and political will to change the record on violence against women and children in Western Australia.
Women occupy many low-paid casual and precarious work often with non-fixed hour contracts which demand full availability without security or predictability. Precarious schedules and income can make it difficult to plan care, limit educational opportunities and participation, and reduce access to credit.
Understanding the gender impact of the budget is important. Government policies are less effective, or may not succeed at all, if the different impact on women and men is not taken into account. The need to understand the impact of public policy on women and men is reasonably well understood for some issues – think of health or family violence. It’s less obvious – but no less important - in other areas of government. Government policies aimed at, for example, increasing workforce participation, early childhood development, supporting particular industries or regions, or caring for the disabled or aged, all have gender implications.