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Economic Capability is a key priority area for WHIN. WHIN acknowledges women face financial vulnerability through structural discrimination in the economy and labour market because of their gender. Structural discrimination means that women disproportionally experience greater levels of poverty, socio-economic disadvantage and are at increased risk of homelessness compared to men. Furthermore, access to economic resources is a key determinant to mental health and wellbeing.
On this Page:
- Women are twice as likely to be underemployed than men.
- Women are over-represented in part time and casual employment.
- Women earn lower wages. There still exists a significant pay gap between men and women in Australia with women earning on average 17.4% less than men.
- Women are retiring with around half the savings of men. In a 2011 survey, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees found that of 800 women, over half of retired women in Australia were in households with annual income of less than $30,000. Single, divorced and widowed women are amongst the worst off.
- Women have less access to secure and affordable housing then men, with women comprising the majority of single-parent and sole-person households.
WHIN takes a capability approach to addressing women’s access to economic resources. Economic Capability means acknowledging and including both the individual's capacity and the socio-economic environment that impacts on women’s ability to economically participate. As such we work with women to identify what they need in order to achieve the financial future and lives they want.
WHIN's Managing Money: Every Woman's Business is a financial education program that provides culturally and gender-sensitive financial information for women wanting to develop their financial skills.
Sessions are tailored to meet the needs of a given group and may include topics on budgeting, savings, accounts, credit, debts and loans; accessing community assistance and financial counselling; consumer rights and responsibilities; and housing and tenancy issues.
WHIN’s Economic Capability Resources Page includes a range of resources and documents including: Managing Money: Every Woman’s Business. A guide to increasing women’s financial capability, translated financial literacy worksheet booklets in 11 community languages, the Enterprising Women Evaluation Report Part 1 and Part 2, and Business Education Workbooks (English and Arabic).
Living Longer on Less is a partnership project between Women's Health In the North (WHIN) and Women's Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) and is supported by an expert Reference Group. It began in December 2012, aiming to gather the experiences of women aged over 55 from diverse backgrounds across metropolitan and rural areas about how they plan to pay for their own care as they age. To see more about this project click here.
WHIN's advocacy in economic capability has centered on the equal remuneration case and the equal pay campaign. In 2012 a historic decision was made by Fair Work Australia that paved the way to pay justice for women in the social and community sectors.
- WHIN provided the following support to the Equal Pay Campaign:
- Attended the National Equal Pay Day of Action rallies.
- Signed onto the ASU Campaign Statement of Support.
- Signed onto the Australian Council of Social Services Sector Statement.
- Advocated on behalf of women to local Members of Parliament to support the Campaign.
- Raised awareness of the Campaign among WHIN members, Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
- Hosted a WHIN Members' breakfast prior to the June Equal Pay Day of Action Rally.
For more information on the Campaign and other advocacy work conducted by WHIN, including submissions on volunteering and paid maternity leave, click here.