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Output 2.2 Administered Items - Women’s Programmes

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Qualitative assessment

Administered Item
Performance indicators
Women’s programmes Quality: Extent to which feedback from stakeholders, researchers and the general public indicates that awareness raising and other activities have been effective in reducing domestic and family violence.
Results of external evaluations of funded activities.

Administered expenses - $8.8m

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Qualitative assessment

Methodology

Formal and informal feedback - received from: the Prime Minister’s Senior Adviser (Women’s Affairs); the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women and her advisers; the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; the Deputy Secretary of the Social Policy Group; and relevant stakeholders representing women and women’s organisations, state and territory governments and Australian Government departments - provides the qualitative assessment of the department’s work on women’s programmes administered under Output 2.2.

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Feedback

OSW received positive feedback on its programmes from all relevant stakeholders.

Ongoing evaluation of Partnerships Against Domestic Violence (PADV) and the National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault indicated a positive community response to both programmes. OSW also received positive feedback from members of the PADV taskforce and Australian Government, state and territory ministers about the success of the PADV initiative.

The Honouring Women programme continued to gain positive feedback through its promotion by high-profile women acting as ambassadors for the initiative, which aims to increase the number of women receiving awards and honours.

OSW conducted evaluations of all projects funded under the Women’s Development Programme (WDP), including a project to subsidise national secretariats to represent women’s organisations, described in more detail below. Findings indicated that the projects had been successful and well received by women’s NGOs. Feedback received from the national secretariats indicated that arrangements were working effectively, contractual requirements were being satisfactorily met and there was a commitment by the secretariats to progressing priority issues under the programme’s recommended consortia model.

Positive feedback received during the second national women’s conference hosted by OSW, Australian WomenSpeak 2003, together with post-conference evaluations, indicated a high degree of satisfaction among delegates.

Feedback on the women’s data warehouse and internet portal developed under the Informed Choices for Australian Women initiative was very positive, in terms of both technical attributes and content.

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Key results

OSW administers six appropriations, under the following headings:

  • Partnerships Against Domestic Violence
  • National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault
  • Informed Choices for Australian Women
  • National Leadership Initiative
  • Women’s Development Programme
  • Other Women’s Programmes.

Key results for each appropriation in 2002-03 are described below.

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Partnerships Against Domestic Violence

The $50 million PADV initiative has been highly effective in enabling OSW to gather knowledge about, and trial new ways of, preventing and responding to domestic violence.

Through partnerships between Australian, state and territory government departments, the community, the service sector and the business sector, a national framework has been developed to:

  • promote policies and practices that address prevention, early intervention and crisis assistance issues
  • promote the adoption of demonstrated good practice in national, state, territory and local government
  • facilitate the development of appropriate and comprehensive community responses to violence
  • raise community awareness, to reduce the toleration of violent behaviours and to reduce the use of violence
  • implement complementary strategies for men and boys and women and girls, to prevent family violence and reduce the use of violence in the community
  • promote programmes and policies that address the needs of women affected by violence, including their needs for recovery and wellbeing.

In 2002-03 the $25 million second phase of PADV was used to: implement an indigenous grants programme to build the capacity of indigenous communities to find and implement solutions to deal with domestic violence; reduce the effects on children witnessing domestic violence; encourage men who use violence to accept responsibility for their actions; improve women’s services; provide funding for the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse; and increase community awareness of violence and its impact, on a national basis.

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National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault

In the 2001-02 Budget, funding of $16.5 million was allocated to the National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault, to help eliminate sexual assault and to build on the substantial achievements of PADV. The initial focus of the initiative was the establishment of a sound evidence base to ensure that the most effective policy and service responses would be generated. To this end, OSW commissioned:

  • the Australian Bureau of Statistics to develop a sexual assault information development plan - to identify existing sources of data on sexual assault, identify gaps in available data and propose strategies to address those gaps - due for completion before the end of 2003
  • a data analyst at the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) to work on criminal aspects of sexual assault - to date, the data analyst has produced an international literature review on the non‑reporting and hidden recording of sexual assault, and work has commenced on a research paper examining recidivism among sexual assault offenders
  • the AIC to coordinate Australia’s participation in the first International Violence Against Women Survey, run by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute
  • the Australian Institute of Family Studies to establish an Australian centre for the study of sexual assault, to encourage sharing of research and best practice across jurisdictions
  • Elliott and Shanahan Research Proprietary Limited to undertake research to gauge attitudes and beliefs about sexual assault in the community - this research will be used to develop a national community awareness campaign.

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Informed Choices for Australian Women

In the 2001-02 Budget the government provided funding of $5.5 million, payable over four years, to develop a women’s information strategy under the Informed Choices for Australian Women initiative.

The women’s data warehouse, <www.windowonwomen.gov.au>, was officially launched in February 2003. Window on Women is a unique single reference point designed to provide free web based access to integrated statistical data about women’s needs and circumstances, through a data warehouse facility. It provides statistical information on key areas such as work, income, health, education and training. The data warehouse gives NGOs, students, government departments and the community easy access to information about women. It will also play an important role in policy development, implementation and evaluation.

OSW launched the women’s internet portal on 31 March 2003. The portal, <www.women.gov.au>, provides a single point of access to government information for and about women.

OSW produced a series of focus papers and monographs exploring key issues affecting women. The papers were regularly distributed to a range of interested parties, including NGOs, universities, schools and libraries.

OSW hosted the second national women’s conference, Australian WomenSpeak 2003, held in Canberra from 30 March to 1 April 2003. The conference sessions focused on a range of topics including women in health, women at work, creativity, developing skills, and women succeeding in business, agribusiness and other careers. The Hon. Dame Margaret Guilfoyle DBE and the Hon. Susan Ryan AO provided keynote addresses as ‘The Trailblazers - the first women in Cabinet’ and were honoured at the conference dinner as women of achievement.

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National Leadership Initiative

In the 2001-02 Budget the government committed funding of $2.4 million, to be delivered over four years, to maximise, sustain and promote women’s leadership potential and participation, focusing on non-elite roles for rural, indigenous, marginalised or disadvantaged women. The key components of the initiative are:

  • the Executive Search service available through the AppointWomen database, which assists the government to appoint highly skilled women to Australian Government boards and advisory and decision making bodies - over 390 candidates were presented for consideration for various Australian Government vacancies in 2002-03
  • the Honouring Women initiative, which encourages the nomination of women for national awards and honours - the initiative is sustained through the leadership of a number of high-profile ambassadors, including the Hon. Dame Margaret Guilfoyle DBE and the Hon. Joan Kirner AM as Lead Ambassadors
  • projects to increase the participation of young women and indigenous women in decision making activities, including the Sports Leadership programme - in 2002-03, grants were made available for 45 projects designed to encourage and support the full involvement of rural and regional women and girls in all aspects of sport. The projects focused on indigenous women in sport, women working in disability sport and women in general sports leadership.

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Women’s Development Programme

In the 2001-02 Budget the government provided funding of $5.6 million, to be delivered over four years, to improve the status and position of women through the Women’s Development Programme (WDP).

In 2002-03 OSW provided funding to four secretariats, collectively representing around 45 national women’s NGOs, to encourage women’s participation in government decision making. The role of the secretariats was to nationally represent the diverse views of women; to inform debate and discussion on policy issues affecting women; and to operate as a conduit for their members, relaying information about government programmes and policies.

The WDP provided grant funding to women’s NGOs to support capacity building and projects that contribute to public policy and are relevant to women’s issues. Thirteen projects were funded in 2002-03 and are listed in Table 4, at the end of this chapter.

Through the WDP, OSW also funded a research project on effective marginal tax rates, and various training and mentoring projects in the women’s non‑government sector, including projects to develop capacity building resources.

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Other Women’s Programmes

In 2002-03 the government provided funding of $654,000 for Other Women’s Programmes (OWP), which includes a range of projects to assist and advance the status of Australian women. Research activities commissioned by OWP in 2002-03 included:

  • the third edition of Women in Australia, providing a comprehensive range of statistics about Australian women’s lives
  • a Time Use Research Fellowship programme developed to encourage and support original research based on time use data analysed from a gender perspective - research from the fellowships will be used to promote informed policy development and analysis in relation to women and time use
  • a study into the underlying reasons behind the fertility decisions made by men and women, both as individuals and in couples
  • an analysis of what housing and housing support services are required to facilitate successful transitions out of homelessness for women.

OWP also funded specific productions to commemorate the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage, including:

  • a series of publications to highlight historical milestones in women’s struggle to achieve the right to vote and stand in national elections
  • a third edition of Every Woman’s Guide to Getting into Politics, for distribution to schools and libraries.

A number of publications, events and awards were funded under this programme, including:

  • a regular newsletter for women
  • a publication outlining the government’s achievements for women
  • celebrations held to commemorate International Women’s Day
  • the coordination of Australia’s observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • sponsorship of a Migrant Women in Business Award, one of the awards presented each year by the Australian Micro Business Network - the award will raise community awareness and recognition of the important role that migrant women play in the Australian business community.

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Table 4  Grants to women’s non-government organisations
Organisation Funding Project goals
All Australia Netball Association Limited $27,500 To develop the Netball Australia Strategic Business Plan 2003 - 2006.
Association of Women Educators Incorporated $21,500 To increase the business and policy advising skills of the executives, to enable the association to become self-sufficient.
Association of Women Educators Incorporated $38,400 To promote effective practices to keep parenting and pregnant young women at school.
Australian Breast Feeding Association $27,280 To develop the leadership and mentoring skills of current high-calibre executives to enable the organisation to plan strategically and to develop the leadership skills of new and potential leaders through workshops conducted around Australia.
Australian Women’s Motorsport Network $27,500 To develop and implement a mentoring programme for women in motor sport and the automotive industry.
Breast Cancer Network Australia $26,510 To provide presentation and public speaking training to Breast Cancer Network Australia advocates.
Catholic Women’s League Australia Incorporated $27,500 To increase the information technology skills of a select group of members and to provide training and mentoring to the executive and other members.
Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women $53,900 To provide advanced facilitation skills for female leaders in rural Australia.
National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence $41,450 To develop the National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence website.
National Council of Jewish Women of Australia Incorporated $49,717 To undertake a contextual study and report on Jewish women balancing intergenerational family responsibilities in multicultural Australia.
National Foundation for Australian Women $55,000 To increase the community’s awareness and knowledge of the role played by women in Australian science.
Older Women’s Network Australia $47,257 To undertake research to obtain qualitative and quantitative measures of social capital for older women and develop pathways for public policy to take account of older women’s contributions.
View Clubs of Australia $55,000 To assess how successfully the View Clubs of Australia are supporting the development of the capacity and status of Australian women and strengthen the View Clubs network based on the findings of a demographic survey of members.

 

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