On the 24th & 25th November, 2015 30 delegates from leading national organisations and national bodies representing women in various industry sectors were invited by the University of Queensland to participate in a two-day workshop to discuss the formation of a national body to progress the issue of gender equality in Australia.
The workshop tackled several issues including:
- Defining the problem
- Identifying the main drivers of gender inequality
- Identifying the main perpetrators/promulgators of gender inequality
- Identifying frameworks, structures or institutions which act as enablers in perpetuating the problem
- Identifying potential solutions to the problem
The workshop addressed the issue of whether a national body representing the issue of gender inequality in Australia could provide further value in solving the issue of gender inequality beyond existing organisations. Workshop participants agreed that such a body could provide a voice that is currently not available to women if:
- that body was truly independent from Government and the Corporate Sector
- it represented and had as its members, only peak not for profit bodies representing the interests of women in the workplace
- it was a grass roots organisation whose funding was derived predominantly from individuals who believed in addressing the issue of gender inequality
- it focused on addressing the causes of gender inequality rather than its symptoms
- all initiatives undertaken by the organisation were underpinned by empirically based research.
The workshop concluded by unanimously supporting the formation of such a national body and agreed to the formation of a working group to progress the idea of the national body.