The ACT Government has announced 17 recipients that have received a share of the $180,000 Women’s Participation and Safety Grants program.

The ACT Government is continuing its work towards the wellbeing and safety of women in the Territory, yesterday announcing 17 recipients of Women’s Participation and Safety Grants program.

The individuals, organisations and community groups have each received a sum out of the total $180,000 towards projects including advancing gender equality and reducing violence against women.  

ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry said the program, which had been running since 2012, was a step in the right direction, but that change was a whole community approach.

“Reducing the impact of both inequality and family and domestic violence is a whole-of-community responsibility because real culture change is needed. These grants give individuals and organisations the ability to try new projects and approaches to making things better for women in the ACT,” she said.  

“The impact of COVID-19 is being felt right across the community but for some this can be a particularly dangerous time, especially as some people may be even more isolated from their community.”

One of the recipients, Women with Disabilities ACT, will be using the grant to establish a peer support group for members who are currently, or plan to be, parents.

Women with Disabilities CEO, C Moore, said the program would help members to share their experiences within the maternity system with others. 

“Maternity services can be quite a complex system to navigate for women with disability,” they said.

“Having women around you who are going through the same things, tips and tricks could be really helpful.”

“We are hoping to take some of what they are struggling with on board and take that to governing bodies in the long run and make change in that area.”

The grants program is divided into two focus groups, with $80,000 targeted to increasing outcomes and advancing gender equality for women, as well as increasing women’s community participation. The remaining $100,000 is focused on projects to reduce violence against women and their children.

Ms Berry said this round of grants had come at a time when women had been severely affected by COVID-19.

“Making sure that organisations are supported to help people is a major focus of the ACT Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the evidence is showing that women are being disadvantaged even more through this pandemic and that’s why these supports are important,” she said.

“It’s important now more than ever that there continues to be opportunities available for women to participate so that Canberra will get through this time together and be as strong as possible.”

Women with Disabilities ACT is still confirming numbers for the peer program but estimates it will accommodate up to 20 people with a project officer.

Details of how to apply for the program will be on the organisation’s website.

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