Department of Family and Community Services

STATISTICS CAN IMPROVE SERVICES AND LIVES

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14 Jun 2013

Friday 14 June 2013

STATISTICS CAN IMPROVE SERVICES AND LIVES

Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward today launched Women in NSW 2013, the second annual report on the status of women in NSW.

Ms Goward said while the 2012 report provided a snapshot and historical perspective on women’s progress towards equality, Women in NSW 2013 now allows progress to be tracked over time.

“Building on last year’s report, Women in NSW 2013 examines gender equity through more than 90 indicators in areas of life critical to women’s wellbeing, including health, education, work, financial security, leadership and safety and justice,” Ms Goward said.

“Women NSW last year sought feedback from the community, business, educational institutions and government. As a result, a great deal of new and improved information has been included in Women in NSW 2013 to ensure the report is even more relevant and useful to policy-makers and practitioners.

“New data in the 2013 report includes flexible work arrangements and parental leave payments; women’s leadership in NSW-based community organisations; sex discrimination and sexual harassment in employment; data on prisoners and offenders; and wellbeing indicators such as feelings of safety alone after dark.

“This Government now possesses a highly credible and very detailed data set on women’s social outcomes, based on rigorous analysis of evidence.

“This report fulfils an election commitment to publish an annual report on the status of women in NSW that would provide proper analysis of data, dispel myths about women’s lives and reveal the real issues that remain to be addressed.

“Women NSW is using this information working closely with NSW Government, business and the wider community to improve the economic opportunities, financial security and safety of women across our State.

“This year, an online resource has been developed for easier access to the data. Over time this will become an interactive data resource for students, business and the women and men of NSW,” Ms Goward said.

To visit the new online resource and download the Women in NSW 2013 report go to www.women.nsw.gov.au/women_in_nsw.

Positive movement

  • The average hourly earnings for women as a percentage of men’s earnings have increased from 88 percent to 92 percent, narrowing the salary gap.
  • More women are engaged in permanent part-time work instead of casual part-time jobs.
  • Women’s participation in traditionally male-dominated roles has crept forward, with the percentage of women commencing technical and trade apprenticeships increasing from 16.2 to 17.4 percent.
  • Women leaders are slowly making ground in the private sector, with directorships held by women in NSW-based ASX 200 companies increasing from 15 percent in April 2011 to 18 percent in April 2013.
  • The report shows that women are faring better in the public sector. Data, reported for the first time in Women in NSW 2013, shows that TAFE NSW currently leads the way in women’s leadership, with women in 57 percent of TAFE Institute Director and Senior Manager roles – an uncommonly high rate.
  • Real improvements in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women are now less likely to smoke and engage in risky drinking, including during pregnancy. Aboriginal women are also highly represented this year in vocational education and training courses.
  • 2013 report also dispels some myths about women. For example, while recent media reports have focused on rising violence among young women, in NSW the increase in violent assault committed by women over the past year was four times higher among women aged 50-plus than it was for girls aged 10-17 years.

Room for improvement

  • Women continue to make up nearly 70 percent of domestic and family violence victims, while men continue to comprise 70 percent of perpetrators in recorded offences.
  • Several indicators also reflect that women’s mental health is poorer than men’s. Worryingly, NSW hospital data from the 2011-2012 financial year shows that young women are close to three times more likely to be hospitalised for self-harm than young men.
  • In 2011, for the first time in the past decade, boys had a higher Year 12 completion rate than girls.
  • Women of lower socio-economic status experience greater psychological distress than other women. They are more likely to smoke, to leave school early, and are less likely to have a tertiary qualification.

Media Contact: Simon Fontana 0467 738 139