According to this interview by Anna Vidot and Mark Colvin published on ABC News Online on Monday, November 17 2014, there are fears that the West Australian Government decision to scrap funding for an interpreting service could deny justice to some Aboriginal people in the Kimberley.

The Kimberley Interpreting Service helps Aboriginal people navigate the technical English of police interviews and the courts and is the only service of its kind in WA. But at the end of June this year, the State Government scrapped its funding for the Kimberley Interpreting Service. Indigenous incarceration rates in WA are already the highest in the country, and there are concerns it could get significantly worse.

Anna Vidot spoke to a representative from the Interpreting Service, Desmond Taylor about the Government's decision to cut funding. Desmond and his colleagues offer interpreting services in more than 30 languages for Aboriginal accused, as they navigate police interviews and the courts.

Desmond said "It's very worrying because a lot of the Aborigines who don't speak English as their first language, they're going to be incarcerated and the prison system is going to go up without interpreters."

The Kimberley Interpreting Service's chief executive, Deanne Lightfoot, says it may not survive without government intervention. "Without clear communication in the court process, throughout the whole justice process, there's actually a miscarriage of justice. To be honest, we are in a really dire position and we really need the Government to get behind us". For more information on the interpreting services click here.

The chief justice of Western Australia Wayne Martin told the ABC he's concerned too. "There is a need certainly in the justice system for adequately resourced interpreter service. And if the decision that's been announced has the effect of not providing that service, then it's a backwards step."

"There are large parts of our state, not just the Kimberley, but also the Pilbara, the lands area east of Kalgoorlie, there are large parts of our state where the primary language spoken is not English. There are recurrent problems in this area, which is why we need a base of adequately trained interpreters in the various languages that are regularly used around our state. I've been calling for it, a properly funded state-wide interpreter service, along the lines that exist in the Northern Territory for six or seven years now, and that to my way of thinking is the only way of adequately addressing this problem."

Click here to read the whole ABC report. 

The lack of available interpreting services in WA was recently addressed in the 20th Anniversary Review of the 1994 Chief Justice's Gender Bias Taskforce Report launched by WLWA on 23 September 2014. Research conducted by WLWA concluded that, amongst other things, there was a lack of accessibility and availability of interpreters in WA and recommended the State Government ensure interpreters receive the necessary training and established a
taskforce with the view to increase the number of interpreters.

Seeing that the recommendations of the 2014 Review Report are implemented will be the focus of WLWA's work in the coming months and years. WLWA will be lobbying the State Government in relation to its decision to cut funding to this vital Interpreting Service.

Click here to view a copy of the 2014 Review report and click here to view WLWA's press release of the launch.

 

According to this article by Angela Priestly, published today on Women's Agenda, the usefulness of LinkedIn really shined yesterday when the NRL announced the appointment of Suzanne Young as Chief Operating Officer.

For interested people the Linkedin Profile returned a full run-down on Young's credentials for successfully filling the role, thus highlighting the importance of professionals maintaining an up to date online profile.

Given much of Young's first press conference -- as well as the early media coverage on the appointment -- was dominated by the fact she has three children or her own, and is a stepmother to another three, it was necessary to do a little hunting to find out what else qualifies Young for taking on responsibility for some of the game's most pressing issues – including behavioural management, financial strategy and salary caps.

Let's get to those other qualifications: Young's a senior finance executive with decades of experience leading major teams and strategic change for organisations like Leighton Holdings, Qantas, the Commonwealth Bank and Unisys. She has served as a non-executive director on a number of not-for-profit boards and has some glowing recommendations from the likes of leaders she's worked with including Peter Hicks and Stephen Norton. As she said during the press conference yesterday, she's worked in plenty of "blokey industries".

But the NRL wanted to highlight the fact she's a mother and stepmother to six teenagers, including boys, in its press release on the appointment.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

According to this article by Georgia Dent, published yesterday on Women's Agenda, the G20 has pledged to increase women's workforce participation globally. Women's Agenda asked three members of Chief Executive Women to weigh in on how this can be achieved. These are their answers.

Elaine Henry OAM, formerly Executive Director of the Cancer Council (NSW) and Chief Executive of The Smith Family began by discussing how social changes have trailed economic changes.

"The metrics speak for themselves in terms of our economic indicators. For example, it has been estimated that an extra 6% of women in the workforce would increase Australia's annual GDP by about $25 billion dollars. So what are obstacles? Herein lies the rub.

Firstly, we need to have acceptance of the fact that social changes in today's world have trailed economic realities and that women's changing roles affect social structures, family functioning and how children are raised. So before we can realise the potential economic gains, countries need to invest in social infrastructure as well as physical infrastructure, and support cultural change in the workforce.

If we listen to the voices of women themselves, we can start to chart a roadmap by initially committing to overcoming current obstacles. In Australia, for women of child-bearing age, the cry is for a universal system of accessible, affordable, quality early childhood learning and development infrastructure."

Click here to read the rest of the article.

According to this article by Catherine Fox, published today on Women's Agenda, there were so many men in and around the G20 in Brisbane over the weekend that it was a particularly startling contrast to join a discussion on women's leadership on Monday. The latter was attended by about 200 women and just a few men following the international talk fest.

There was optimism about the news that a 25% decrease in the workforce gender gap by 2025 was included in the G20 communique for the first time, and hope this would finally signal some real action.

But frustration about how to achieve the changes was bubbling through several sessions at yesterday's International Dialogue on Women in Leadership, hosted by Sydney University's United States Studies Centre and Griffith University.

As former Governor General Quentin Bryce pointed out, it's time to talk about how this will be delivered. If we don't do something, she reminded the audience, the current estimate is Australia will take until 2095 to reach gender equality.

There's a current gap of about 13% between male and female workforce participation in Australia, so the G20 goal means an increase of just over 3% in women's employment rate here.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

According to this article written by Julia Bowes and published on 17 November 2014 on ABC News online, with its suggestive questions and "eye-brow raising" cover art, Time Magazine has a long history of denigrating feminism, both the word and cause.

The magazine placed the word "feminist" on the chopping block for 2014. In its fourth annual (and unknown before this publicity stunt) poll on words we should ban for the next calendar year, the magazine included "feminist" as one of those words that make you want to "seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums as straws through plastic lids". Past winners of this illustrious poll include OMG, YOLO and twerk.

If we can take Time Magazine as representative of the middle-of-the-road media's views on feminism, and an accurate gauge of current popular opinion, its representations of feminism certainly give cause for concern.

But if instead we hold up a mirror to Time Magazine as the opinion-shaping global juggernaut that it is, it is no surprise that women are tired of hearing the word "feminist" and feeling burdened by all that it entails. Time Magazine is the grand architect of its own problems with the word. According to Time, we should pity white women as victims of feminism, and pity women of colour more for living without white women's feminism.

The inclusion of the word drew a huge backlash from readers and as a result, Time's managing editor Nancy Gibbs has issued an apology, which now precedes the poll itself:

"TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word 'feminist' should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice." - Nancy Gibbs

Click here to read the whole article.

According to this article published today on the ABC, nearly 1,000 people took to the streets of Nairobi to protest against a series of vicious public attacks on women who were stripped naked and assaulted for wearing mini-skirts or other clothing perceived to be immodest.

Grainy videos of two attacks in Mombasa and Nairobi, taken on mobile phones and circulated widely via Twitter and other social media, show mobs of men surrounding the women, wresting off their clothes and appearing to kick them in their genital area.

One of the march's organisers said she was aware of 10 separate attacks across Kenya. "Violence affects women, men, boys and girls, and if left to continue gaining currency, will deny us healthy relationships," organiser Ruth Knaust told Capital FM radio.

The Nairobi attack, which happened in broad daylight on a busy street last week, sparked outrage in the cosmopolitan capital. Deputy president William Ruto called the incident barbaric and Inspector General Police David Kimaiyo has appealed to the victim to come forward, local media reported.

The march, which was made up mostly of women, was an unusual public display of support for women's rights in Kenya, where sex crimes are rarely prosecuted.

Click here to read the whole article.

WLWA is delighted to announce that the committee has established 6 working groups to assist the WLWA committee in carrying out its various functions moving forward.

The working groups are chaired by at least one committee member, and open to up to 6 current paid members of WLWA (not being committee members) to be adopted onto each working group.

We are excited to welcome members to those Working Groups and greatly appreciate their input into these key areas of the committee's work:

    1. Gender Bias Taskforce Implementation Committee (chaired by Catherine Fletcher);
    2. Law Reform (Women's Rights) & Social Justice (chaired by Prue Myers and Jane Ensor);
    3. Communications & Newsletter (chaired by Jessica Stokes);
    4. Education & CPD (chaired by Jessica Henderson and Shannon Mony);
    5. Social & Networking (chaired by Tara Connolly); and
    6. Women in the Legal Profession (chaired by Megan McCormark and Frieda Orr).

A full description of each Working Group is available to members in the Working Group Terms of Reference (please login as a member to view).

Should you be interested in joining one of our working groups, please Contact Us to submit an expression of interest setting out the working group that you are interested in joining and your full contact details.

According to this article by Georgia Dent, published today on Women's Agenda, as far as television presenters go Karl Stefanovic is as visible as they come. As the co-host of Channel 9's breakfast program The Today Show he fronts up for a minimum of three hours of live television five days a week. And for the past year he has been wearing the same navy suit for every single appearance. And no one noticed.

What began as a three day experiment to see if anyone complained became a year-long exercise in uncovering the double standards men and women are subject to in television. Stefanovic told Fairfax Media that after hearing the constant feedback and criticism his female co-stars received about their appearance he decided to do some private research.

"I've worn the same suit on air for a year – except for a couple of times because of circumstance – to make a point," he said. "I'm judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they're wearing or how their hair is ... that's [what I wanted to test]."

The results of his test were persuasive: not a single viewer complained or noticed. "But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there's thousands of tweets written about them. Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear."

Stefanovic's experiment has garnered considerable attention, firstly here in Australia, but also further afield. The BBC and Jezebel are among the global media outlets to have picked it up.

There is no denying it's an illuminating story – it quite clearly demonstrates the double standards men and women in the media face. The fact it was undertaken by a dominant media player makes it all the more powerful. As commentator Van Baddham tweeted there is power in Stefanovic recognising his own privilege.

Click here for the whole article.

According to this article by Angela Priestley, published today on Women's Agenda, the 2015 NAB Women's Agenda Leadership Awards are now open for entries and they want to hear from as many of you as possible.

That's because we have a bit of a problem when it comes to the visibility of female leadership talent. There's certainly not a shortage of talented women around, but if you look at the tiny number of female CEOs on the ASX 200 (now only 2.5%), the lack of female sources quoted in the business media, and the still too few number of women featured in the 'richest' and 'most powerful' lists, it seems women are not quite getting their talents recognised.

The goal of these awards is to shine a spotlight on emerging female leadership talent, as well as to celebrate those individuals who are lending a hand to help such talent get the attention they deserve. The aim is to help increase the visibility of emerging female leadership now, to avoid all 'where are the women?' excuses in the future. We want more female leaders to be household names.

So while you may not be a well-known female leader now, you very well could be in the future -- or know of a friend or a colleague who should be. You can also easily and quickly nominate a friend, colleague or supporter. The 'mentor of the year' category is a particularly great way to acknowledge the support of a great mentor who is helping your career.

Entry is simple and free. Check out all the categories and more on the awards here. Tickets for our awards luncheon on the 26th February in Sydney are now on sale.

Click here to read the whole article.

According to this article by Lucia Osborne-Crowley, published today on Women's Agenda, the G20 countries have made a commitment to reduce the gender gap in workforce participation by 25% by 2025.

The summit acknowledged that one of the world's biggest barriers to global economic growth is the persistently low level of women's participation in the workforce compared with men's. G20 leaders announced that by increasing female labour participation by 25% over the next 15 years, they would bring 100 million women into the workforce – thereby allowing the G20 countries to reach their goal to increase global economic growth by 2.1% by 2018.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the target is a "clear aspiration". "An extraordinary achievement if we can deliver on this, but it is a clear aspiration and it is an achievable accountable goal," he told ABC News.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency spokesperson Yolanda Beattie said the G20 target could only be reached by addressing all the embedded workplace structures that disadvantage women.

"There is no silver bullet. It begins with a deep understanding of all of the systemic barriers to women's full participation in the workforce," she told Women's Agenda.

"Every key decision maker needs to understand that the workforce is not a level playing field, and they need to understand why this is the case and then make a commitment to addressing every single element of women's disadvantage at work".

Click here to read the whole article.

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