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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Women Raising Our Voices Forum

Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, today opened the ‘Women Raising Our Voices National Forum’ at Sydney University.

The National Forum is a key part of the Raising the Voice of Migrant Women Workers in Precarious Employment project, which received $100,000 under the Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program Grants.

The forum brought together nearly 200 women, mainly from Chinese and Vietnamese backgrounds, to have their say on the issues they face in the workplace, at home and in the community.

The project is being run by the Network of Immigrant and Refugee Women of Australia (NIRWA) in partnership with Asian Women at Work.

Immigrant and refugee women can face barriers to participating in the workforce and wider community, such as language, culture, and in some cases, prejudice.

The project is supporting migrant women workers’ to be effective community advocates.

NIRWA is the lead agency for the Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance (AIRWA) – one of the six National Women’s Alliances that share in
$3.6 million from the Australian Government as announced in March this year.

The alliances will play a key role in ensuring that women are strong and effective advocates that engage the broader community and influence government.

Women are often a strong core of the community, but they continue to be under represented in decision making and have fewer opportunities to have their own say on issues that affect them.

As the voice for immigrant and refugee women, AIRWA provides a vehicle to deliver to Government the ongoing concerns of women, such as those being reached through this forum.