Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

    Gender counts in work, wellbeing, safety and security

    23/09/2019 9:10 AM
    • New Women's Report Card gives insight into the status of women in 2019
    • Data to inform development of the State's first 10-year Women's Plan
    • 50.9 per cent of WA Government-appointed board positions now held by women

    The State Government has released its 2019 Women's Report Card, raising awareness of the current status of women in Western Australia.


    The overview, produced by the Department of Communities through the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, details WA women's progress across four key areas: health and wellbeing, safety and justice, economic independence and leadership.


    More than 200 indicators are brought together in the latest update of women-related data, which includes more than 500 statistics.


    The report card provides a comprehensive evidence base that assists policy development and service delivery across the Government, non-Government and private sectors.


    It will also guide actions that support gender equality through informed discussion, debate and advocacy.


    For the first time, the 2019 Women's Report Card will be accompanied by an online data platform that presents key information in an interactive format. Significantly, this data will be updated on an ongoing basis.


    The McGowan Government is also preparing the WA Women's Plan, which is due to be launched in 2020. The 10-year framework will outline long-term strategies for change.


    The 2019 Women's Report Card found:


    • WA's gender pay gap is 21.8 per cent - the worst in Australia
    • Despite more women than men completing high school and graduating from university, women continue to be underrepresented at leadership levels across most sectors
    • Women continue to face a significantly higher risk than men of violence, particularly sexual and family and domestic violence
    • 56 per cent of university graduates are women, but men's undergraduate median starting salaries were greater than women's in 16 out of 20 fields
    • Domestic violence is a leading cause of women's homelessness, accounting for 55.8 per cent of accommodation support provided by specialist homelessness agencies (up from 45.1 per cent in 2012-13)
    • Female representation on boards with Government-controlled appointments is 50.9 per cent
    • Just 13.7 per cent of board chair roles in the private sector are held by women, and the figure has gone backwards slightly since 2015
    • Women continue to retire with about half as much superannuation as men
    • Women continue to undertake the majority of unpaid work and caring responsibilities, even when working full-time

    To view the 2019 Women's Report Card and online data platform, visit http://www.communities.wa.gov.au


    Comments attributed to Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk:


    "Having a solid understanding of how women are faring is crucial to ensure policies and the services they rely on are appropriate and well-targeted.


    "The 2019 Women's Report Card offers a sobering insight into the scale of the challenges faced by women - they are still at considerable risk of violence and abuse, and WA's gender pay gap is consistently high.


    "We acknowledge that there is still work to do to achieve gender equality.


    "However, there have been improvements in several areas since the last update in 2015.


    "A significant increase in the number of women sitting on Government-appointed boards puts representation at 50.9 per cent.


    "Gender equality makes good business sense and increases productivity, but it requires Governments, business and community to work collaboratively to address historical inequities.


    "The McGowan Government's Women's Plan will include actions to address factors that negatively impact on women's ability to fully participate in their communities, the economy and in life more generally."


    Minister's office - 6552 6600