Role of USI in the Implementation of the Strategy

“Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.”

– Gloria Steinem

USI very much welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the National Women’s Strategy from 2017. We work with and on behalf of thousands of women every day, and see the impacts, both immediate and long term, on them as they progress through education and graduate beyond college level. Systems, structures, legislation, as well as societal attitude and expectation heavily impact our female members trajectory, and ability to succeed throughout their lives.

USI sees this as a fundamental moment in which the status quo, and the rate of change of mechanisms to advance equality, need to be challenged, improved, and re-energised.

As the largest union in the country, USI sees its role as being integral to developing the National Women’s Strategy, particularly for a key cohort of female-identifying students between 18 and 24, who will have progressed into the working world as the strategy concludes in 2020, and will be heavily impacted by the strategy’s implementation.

USI will continue to advance the views of our membership to influence policy to ensure fulfillment and strengthening of rights for our members.

Significant advances have been made, but there are many, many to be worked out and achieved. Now more than ever, we need a strong, committed National Women’s Strategy, one that is bold and courageous in its goals, ambitious in its targets. The rise of right wing leaders both in Europe and the state’s, ones who would seek to diminish or sideline the rights of women and minority women, mean that we must strive to protect advances and solidify rights more than ever.

‘Rights’ and ‘equal rights’ for women don’t mean less rights for another group in society, it’s not a cake. If it was, then the new national women’s strategy should be seen as an opportunity to make a new one.

You can download our submission here.