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Monday, April 12, 2021

ACT Government to look at pandemic’s impact on women, convene women’s caucus

The ACT Government will look into the impacts of COVID-19 on women in the Territory, as well as convene a women’s caucus in the Assembly.

ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry said today the Office for Women would undertake a “gendered analysis” of the economic effects of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on women and has further highlighted areas of inequality,” she said. 

“Women have more frequently taken on additional caring responsibilities. Women are also more likely to be employed in occupations that are insecure and low paid.”

Ms Berry also announced she would convene the first women’s caucus within the ACT Government, for women MLAs from ACT Labor and the Greens.

The priority for the caucus will be to support the Government in implementing the ACT Women’s Plan’s second action plan, which includes improving mental health and housing support and reducing homelessness for women across Canberra.

As well, Ms Berry said safety and wellbeing for women and girls would be given special attention.  

“I am particularly focused on protecting and improving economic outcomes for women through supporting workforce participation, making progress towards equal pay, providing more opportunities for women to undertake non-traditional roles, and better recognising the value of domestic labour.” 

While the caucus is only for women MLAs from Labor and the Greens, Ms Berry said she would welcome the opportunity to meet with MLAs from the Canberra Liberals to discuss women’s issues in the Capital.

The inaugural women’s caucus comes as the majority-female 10th ACT Legislative Assembly completes its second week of sitting and the last for the year. The 25-Member Assembly includes 14 women – six from ACT Labor, three from the ACT Greens and five from the Canberra Liberals.

Earlier this year, Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee made history when she and Deputy Leader Giulia Jones became the first all-women leadership team in the history of the ACT Legislative Assembly. 

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