Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Celebrating 40 years of the Women’s Electoral Lobby

The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, has today congratulated the Women’s Electoral Lobby as it celebrates 40 years of activism.

Ms Collins said the past century has seen a transformation in women’s rights in Australia, due to the hard work and determination of WEL members across the country.

“WEL has strived to create a society where women’s participation and potential are unrestricted and where women and men share equally in society’s responsibilities and rewards,” Ms Collins said.

“The Gillard Government shares WEL’s commitment to a fair and just society.

“We are proud to continue Labor’s long legacy of reform to advance the status of Australian women by introducing practical supports, such as affordable and accessible child care and the introduction of Australia’s first paid parental leave scheme.

“We have boosted women’s economic security through the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012, and our target for women to make up at least 40 per cent of positions on Australian Government boards by 2015.

“And we have committed $86 million to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 – a single, unified strategy bringing together government and community efforts to reduce violence against women.”

Ms Collins also highlighted the importance of genuine and ongoing engagement between government and the women’s sector.

“I look forward to continuing to work with WEL to achieve gender equality in Australia.”