Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the development of the first Northern Territory Gender Equality Framework 2019-2024. The development of this Framework is a significant milestone for the Territory.

Despite significant strides towards equality led by women over decades, gender inequality persists in Australia. These inequalities exist within our social and cultural norms, economic structures, and organisational, community, family and relationship practices.

The compounding effect of gendered barriers and other forms of disadvantage and discrimination are evident in the Northern Territory’s statistics, with Northern Territory women – in particular Aboriginal women – overrepresented on a range of indicators of gender inequality. The Territory has the second highest pay gap between women and men in Australia and by far the highest rates of homicide offences related to family and domestic violence.

This submission provides recommendations to ensure the new framework:

  • Achieves lasting, systemic change.
  • Remains responsive to the diverse needs of women and people of diverse gender and sexual orientation in the Northern Territory.
  • Engages men constructively in work towards gender equality.
  • Reflects the role of government as a leader to drive wider community change.

This submission was developed alongside our submission to the Northern Territory Government’s first Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Framework. While harmful attitudes towards women do not always result in violence, they provide the underlying social conditions for violence. A strong Gender Equality Framework is therefore an essential foundation for the primary prevention of domestic, family and sexual violence in all its forms.

Read our submission here.