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

    Long-term plan for gender equality to build a stronger WA

    4/03/2020 9:15 AM
    • McGowan Government launches 10-year plan to address gender inequality
    • WA has highest gender pay gap in the country of 22 per cent
    • 'Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality' provides roadmap for industry and communities to drive change
    • Government to lead by example with a target of 50 per cent women in top-level public service positions and trial public sector reporting to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency 

    The McGowan Government has launched Western Australia's first plan to address gender inequality, underlining its commitment to ensuring women and girls have opportunities to reach their full potential.


    Launched by Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk today, 'Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality' sets out a long-term co-ordinated approach to addressing gender inequality in Western Australia.


    Statistics consistently show that women in WA are still at considerable risk of violence and abuse, including in their own homes, and bear the majority of domestic work.


    They also face the nation's biggest gender pay gap of 22 per cent (compared to 14 per cent nationally), and continue to be overlooked for leadership roles.


    While significant advances have been made to remove barriers faced by women, there is still a long way to go to bring about lasting solutions and achieve gender equality.


    'Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality' provides a roadmap for industries, communities and individuals to drive change.


    It is accompanied by specific initiatives, including:

    • a target of 50 per cent women in top-level (Senior Executive Services) public service positions
    • public sector to trial voluntary reporting of agency data to the Workplace Gender equality Agency (currently no public sector agencies in any State do so); and
    • a commitment to examine opportunities to use the State Government's purchasing power to incentivise suppliers to support gender equality policy and practice. 

    Minister McGurk said the McGowan Government recognised that a whole-of-government approach that engaged businesses, communities and individuals was the only way to achieve effective and long-lasting change.


    Thousands of women and girls from across the State contributed to the Plan through the State Government's 'Women's Voices: Building a Stronger WA Together' consultations.


    Outcomes will be reported regularly over the next 10 years to track progress.


    The Plan also makes the case for the broad community benefits of gender equality, including reducing violence against women. A dedicated family and domestic violence strategy will be released later this year.


    Comments attributed to Women's Interests and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:


    "Women deserve equal opportunities in all aspects of life - in schools, at work, in their homes and out in the community.


    "But equality for women is still a long way off, with some estimates suggesting another 200 years are expected to pass before global equality is achieved.


    "The McGowan Government recognises that a society where everyone is empowered and supported to participate is not just the right thing to do - it also makes good business and economic sense.


    "We have listened to women's voices across Western Australia, and heard loud and clear what the issues are - balancing work and family responsibilities, the gender pay gap, prevention of family and domestic violence, attitudes to women in the community, and representation of women in leadership.


    "There are several levers that governments can use to promote gender equality - one is our workforce, and another is using government contracts to reward suppliers who support gender equality.


    "Without action on this issue, Western Australia risks being left behind because it would not be harnessing the talent and potential of every member of our community.


    "Stronger Together: WA's Plan for Gender Equality provides a roadmap for businesses, communities and governments to take meaningful action to support gender equality."


    Minister's office - 6552 6600