The Department of Communities (Communities) supports Western Australians to lead their best lives by building on people’s strengths. Everyone has the right to fully participate and succeed in the community.
Although there has been significant progress towards gender equality, women continue to experience barriers and inequalities in many aspects of their lives. For example:
- Women experience family and domestic violence, as well as sexual violence and assault, at significantly higher rates than men.
- There is a gap of 22.9 per cent between the average full-time weekly earnings of Western Australian men and women, compared to the national average of 13.4 per cent.
- Women perform more unpaid domestic duties than men, even when they work full-time.
- Women’s career progression to leadership roles can be adversely affected by workplace practices and attitudes that are biased towards traditional gender roles in families where one parent, usually the mother, provides primary care to children.
Communities partners with community sector organisations to deliver initiatives and programs that contribute to driving gender equality in Western Australia.
Women and COVID-19 recovery
Data indicates that women have been disproportionately affected by both social and economic consequences of COVID-19.
Impacts of COVID-19 are evident across each of the four priority areas for women of health and wellbeing, safety and justice, economic independence and leadership.
Aboriginal women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and women living in the regions face additional challenges from the COVID-19 crisis.
For further information see Stronger Together - Action Plan One Interim Report.
Communities helps to strengthen the positive profile of women through a range of other initiatives, including:
- International Women's Day
- the WA Women's Hall of Fame
- support for the annual Grace Vaughan Memorial Lecture
- support for women in STEM through Women in Technology WA
- the Future Jobs Future Skills, diversity in STEM initiative
- the Big Issue Women’s Subscription Enterprise.
The Department also has a Women's Information Service that provides free, confidential information for women throughout Western Australia.