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The 2016 ACT Women’s Plan

Emily Simpson

The 2016 ACT Women’s Plan to “Look Beyond the Average”

Yvette Berry, Minister for Women, has outlined the 2016-2026 Women’s Plan to “look beyond the average” to properly gauge the experiences of women in Canberra.

Berry’s statement acknowledges the high national averages women in Canberra enjoy in areas such as workforce participation, education, and income, as well as the overall quality of life that many women in Canberra are able to attain.

“We are leading the nation in closing the gender pay gap and as a community we boast high rates of participation in sports and social activities,” she said.

Minister Berry is careful to emphasise, however, that while Canberra is a national leader in terms of overall quality of life for women, the averages do not reflect the experiences of all women in Canberra.

She points out that women in Canberra still face various challenges, including the higher likelihood that women become primary carers and the head of one-parent families compared with their male counterparts.

“Women make up 84.9% of Canberran’s heading one-parent families, 92% of primary carers for children with disabilities and we continue to undertake twice as many unpaid caring hours as men,” explains Minister Berry. “One in five women is living with a disability and 9% have a first language other than English.”

With its objective to recognise that every woman is different, the plan is designed to explore and respond to the ‘diverse needs’ of women over the next decade.

“Through focused three yearly cycles the government, in consultation with the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women, will consider the full range of women’s experiences across priority areas including Health and Wellbeing, Housing and Homelessness and Economic Security,” says Minister Berry.

“These three-year cycles will allow the government to engage with diverse groups of women and get a clear picture of the practical changes that can help all women benefit from the opportunities Canberra has to offer.”

The previous Women’s Plan, which was in place between 2010 and 2015, revealed the high quality of life available to many women in Canberra – a testament to successful campaigns that encourage growth and progress in the community.

The renewed aim to accommodate every woman in the ACT is part of the Government’s overall plan to empower all women in society for them to reach their potential, and in turn, contribute to society.


Emily Simpson

Emily is a fourth year Arts/Laws student at the Australian National University. When she’s not studying, which is most of the time, she’s hanging out with friends, drinking coffee, frequenting bakeries in the search for finger buns and vegemite scrolls, or playing sports. Gradually getting closer to the end of her five-year degree, Emily is still trying to figure out exactly what she wants to do ‘when she grows up’, with potential career paths in either law or something related to writing. For now, though, she’s enjoying soaking up the Canberra lifestyle! Emily also writes at More about the Author