23 Women, 23 Stories. Future Changing Conversations.
Everyone has a unique story that offers a window into another life, enabling us to experience different perspectives. These stories, as exemplified in “GRIT,” are crucial for inspiring understanding and action, highlighting the need for new approaches to address gender inequality, economic security, and social issues in Australia.
Global Sisters has spent a decade empowering more than 5500 women by offering them an alternative to the limited and limiting options of mainstream employment or welfare. We are also working to remove structural and systemic barriers preventing women from achieving long term economic security. In 2023, we are thrilled to share 23 remarkable stories of resilience and determination. These narratives shed light on the gender inequalities and intersecting barriers to economic participation affecting Australian women and their families. Our storytellers, all of whom are members of our close-knit community, are proud to champion financial independence, economic security, and a brighter future for women.
Please note that the full, hardcover version of GRIT is not available for public distribution. Instead, it serves as a vital instrument for change and conversation. The book will be gifted to influential leaders and decision-makers in Australia, advocating for a transformative shift in our economy where gender inequality continues to impact the lives of Australian women, their children, and communities. On this website, you can access an eBook sharing a number of these stories.
To secure your personal copy of the GRIT eBook, simply complete the form below. You will receive your personal and exclusive copy in your inbox.
Calls to Action #BackHerBrilliance
“We have arrived at a moment of consequence where a genuine commitment to respect women, and valuing and nurturing their economic contribution by removing systemic barriers, is vital.” Sam Mostyn, Chair, Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce
Home Ownership for every woman
Recognising housing as a human right is essential for women’s economic stability and calls for innovative solutions like standardised rent-to-own options.
Prioritising nutrition for all to enjoy better health
Prioritising holistic well-being is essential, necessitating changes in health practices and food regulations for equitable access to healthy food. Education on nutrition, doctors’ qualifications, and targeted legislative action are key to addressing food insecurity, particularly in migrant communities and low-income areas.
Supporting new migrants in Australia
A “welcome pack” would greatly assist newcomers to Australia by providing information on available services and support groups. It should also indicate whether these services are free or require payment, enabling women to integrate into the community and economy more swiftly.
Stop discrimination against migrant women
Promoting employment opportunities for multicultural women is essential and discrimination experienced by migrant women, for example covering her head or wearing a scarf, must be stopped.
Sharing stories, shifting blame & making Australia safe for all women
I want Australian women to have their voices heard and respected in a safe and supportive environment. We must address the issues of sexual, family, and domestic violence through stronger laws, support systems, and education, shifting the blame from victims to perpetrators to ensure justice and support for survivors.
A holistic approach in supporting all women into opportunities for economic security
I propose changes to alleviate financial pressures on families, ensure affordable and stable housing, offer education tailored to individual talents, enable individuals to contribute their unique gifts to the community, and establish equitable income for women to achieve financial stability. These pillars form a strong foundation for women’s economic security.
Innovation and productivity through creativity
I propose establishing creative departments in all workplaces to nurture creativity. This funding, extending from schools to the workplace and beyond government grants to include bank finance and private initiatives, can create a global ripple effect, promoting financial and emotional abundance and encouraging creativity, particularly among women.
Employment pathways for migrant women
I advocate for government-funded programs to support migrant women in upskilling, accrediting their overseas qualifications, and gaining work experience in fields like digital jobs. This includes internships with large companies to enhance their employability in Australia.
Breaking the cycle of social security dependence
The government should implement different earnings thresholds for recipients of disability, single parent, and aged pensions compared to JobSeeker recipients to avoid unrealistic barriers. Additionally, reinstating the school kids bonus is essential to alleviate the financial strain on families struggling to afford basic essentials, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty.
Supporting Aboriginal small businesses all year
We should promote Indigenous products year-round, moving beyond tokenism during special events like NAIDOC and Reconciliation Week. The idea is to establish Goanna Hubs, initially in Sydney, to support small Indigenous businesses and make their products consistently available.
Domestic violence support for women of refugee backgrounds
We want the government to hear us out by doing more for women of refugee backgrounds living with violence in their homes. We need safe places for women to rebuild their lives back with supported pathways into the workforce or in starting up their own small business so they can be financially independent.
Ensuring women and children have their basic needs met immediately upon a relationship breakdown
In cases of separation it’s essential to ensure women’s basic needs are immediately met, preventing homelessness and providing necessities like housing, food, transport, and income. This should precede the formal legal separation process, addressing situations where women are left in dire circumstances while their ex-partners retain access to assets.
Efficient, coordinated, wrap-around systems of support
Women facing high-stress situations like divorce, domestic violence, and serious health issues require efficient, coordinated support to minimise stress and save time. Streamlined, central support across government departments and agencies is needed to ensure faster, long-lasting resolutions and cost savings for the government.
Comprehensive, free legal support for women to leave a relationship efficiently
Women escaping domestic violence and abusive relationships require improved legal support for divorce, custody, and property settlement to empower them with the necessary information and advice to move forward quickly. Many women, often managing trauma, find the legal process too difficult and expensive, leaving them financially vulnerable and economically disadvantaged.
Child protection from psychological abuse
I want to see a child protection system that takes into account coercive control and psychological abuse, not just physical abuse. We need a system that uses common sense and listens to what a child wants and what they are saying. A system that only takes into account physical evidence like bruising fails children.
Disability treatment trauma
I’ve experienced hostility and isolation as a person with disabilities, and mental health staff have added to this suffering through what I call ‘treatment trauma.’ While the mental health system has improved, there needs to be an apology for those who have endured abuses like shock treatment and forced injections.
Future planning for women recovering from trauma
After initial counseling services, there’s a significant gap in trauma recovery support for women. To promote healing and envision a better future, women require long-term, holistic, and individually tailored support that considers their unique circumstances and potential barriers.
Inclusion of the neurodiverse woman in the workplace and self-employment
Despite growing awareness of adult neurodiversity, there are significant research gaps, particularly related to women, considering factors like pregnancy, menopause, hormones, and the menstrual cycle. Neurodiverse women can be valuable assets in the workplace, but there’s a need for increased support and awareness through research, education, and training.
Fundamental conditions for women to achieve economic security
To achieve basic economic security for all women, it’s crucial to provide them with the means to access shelter, food, and essential needs consistently. This foundation can then lead to enhanced security and well-being through financial education, training, and employment, including financial literacy in schools, job opportunities for migrant women, and carer credits in the form of superannuation payments.
Women over 50- jobs and home finance
I faced ageism and gender bias when job hunting, leading me to start my own business. To support women over 50, the government should incentivise employers, and banks need to develop fair lending practices and affordable housing finance options, helping older women secure homes and prevent homelessness.
Women with a refugee background – getting started
Refugees prioritise learning English and accessing education while facing significant challenges in finding affordable and safe housing. For many, the ability to participate in free markets and generate flexible income is crucial, but existing market costs and insurance requirements can be barriers, highlighting the need for better support and financial products for newcomers.
Supporting entrepreneurial dreams of those living with disability
The potential of a child’s dreams is boundless, and a government-supported “Dream Academy” should be established to understand and support entrepreneurs with disabilities, providing self-employment opportunities that can help overcome barriers to social and economic engagement. Legislative changes are also needed to enable gradual increases in self-employment income without penalties.
Advocates for women in the Family Courts
For women going through a divorce there needs to be more support than the mediator provided. There needs to be assistance on how she should build her divorce case in order to ensure women are not left economically disadvantaged and without a base from which to rebuild their long term economic security. This is a traumatic time and every woman needs an advocate that she doesn’t have to pay for who can support her throughout the legal process.