Women’s safety must be front and centre at the Jobs and Skills Summit

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Women’s safety must be front and centre at the Jobs and Skills Summit

31 August 2022
A group of professionals in a training course

With nearly half of women in Australia impacted by workplace sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence being the biggest preventable burden on working women’s health, any discussion of women’s economic engagement must have a focus on women’s safety.

Full Stop Australia is urging those attending the Jobs and Skills Summit, which will discuss equal opportunities and pay for women, as well as safe workplaces, to ensure women’s safety is placed at the centre of these conversations.

As new data has revealed the extremely high prevalence and long-term impacts of sexual violence experienced by working aged women, CEO of Full Stop Australia Hayley Foster, is calling for women’s safety to be at the forefront of the Jobs and Skills Summit.

“Women’s economic participation and women’s safety are inextricably linked, you cannot have a conversation about one without the other,” Ms Foster said.

Full Stop Australia are urging attendees, including Governments, at the Jobs and Skills Summit to consider women’s safety in all areas of economic engagement.

“We have to ensure that safety is a priority in all settings of economic engagement including workplaces, schools, universities, VET, and for all people including women, LGBTQIA+ communities, people with disabilities, First Nations people and other priority populations,” Ms Foster said.

“Whilst we welcome the groundswell of support around Respect@Work, it is critical that this be extended to all education and training environments.”

“We need to raise the bar.”

“We need positive duty in all education and training settings, and each these sectors need to be resourced to better prevent and respond to gender and sex-based discrimination, harassment, and violence.”

“We are also seeking a commitment for people impacted by gender-based violence to be supported to recover psychologically and to rebuild and re-engage socially and economically.”

“What we know from decades of working with survivors of gender-based violence is that there is a critical gap when it comes to recovery after crisis.”

Full Stop Australia is calling on the Federal Government to commit at the Jobs and Skills Summit to a National Violence and Abuse Recovery and Resource Hub to support people of all ages and genders to access the information, resources and support they need to recover from the impacts of violence and abuse. This Hub needs to be underpinned by 24/7 trauma-specialist counselling and recovery services.

“We have to shift the burden from the survivor to rebuild themselves, but we also have to stop treating women’s safety like a periphery issue,” Ms Foster said.