We think you are in Victoria. If not please click 'Change'

In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

International Women’s Day 2018: A timeline of women’s rights in Australia

International Womens Day 2018 Banner | Shine Lawyers

This International Women’s Day, the theme is #PressForProgress. Despite the support for movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report states that worldwide gender parity is over 200 years away. Gender equality won’t happen overnight, but now more than ever, we must keep pressing for progress.

Although gender disparity still features in many facets of Australian society, we have come a long way in our mission for equality. International Women’s Day provides an opportunity for us to step back and recognise some of the important milestones and victories Australian women have secured:

International Womens Day 2018 Timeline | Shine Lawyers

1902: Australia was first country to allow women to run for parliament, granting women the right to vote and stand in the 1903 federal election.

1922: The Country Women’s Association (CWA) was founded, empowering women to fundraise for chosen causes and support local communities. The association remains active to this day with over 25,000 members.

1943: Enid Lyons became the first woman to be elected to the Australian Parliament, standing as an important voice on issues of particular relevance to Australian women.

1975: The United Nations coined 1975 International Women’s Year and ever since, March 8 has been celebrated as International Women’s Day.

1984: The federal government introduced the Sex Discrimination Act, making it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sex, marital status or pregnancy.

1987: Mary Gaudron became Australia’s first female high court judge, using her legal influence to oppose discrimination in all its forms.

2010: Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister.

2011: Gender restrictions were removed on ADF combat roles, with the Defence Force recognising the need to work towards fair, just and inclusive workplaces for all Australians.

Workplaces today: Sexual harassment and discrimination

Despite these laudable achievements, recent studies reveal that Australian workplaces are still fraught with injustice. Women are over-represented in part-time roles, and 35% of female workers have experienced sexual harassment and discrimination in their places of work.

The prevalence of sexual discrimination and harassment is still a prominent issue in Australian workplaces. So this International Women’s Day, whether you’re an employer, business, organisation or worker, take a stand for women’s rights and Press For Progress.

Shine Lawyers – Contact Us

At Shine Lawyers, our lawyers are experienced in all aspects of employment law, including discrimination and harassment. So if you’re experiencing mistreatment in your place of work, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Contact us today for tailored legal advice.

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: March 13, 2018.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

  • johnk wrote:

    Thank You. God Bless.

  • Thinking about volunteering? Know your rights and responsibilities

    Every year thousands of Australians support their community by volunteering with a wide range of organisations. Unlike paid staff, volunteers aren’t covered by awards or workplace agreements. However they still have important rights and protections from mistreatment. What is a volunteer? Although there is no legal definition of a volunteer in Australia, Volunteering Australia defines […]

    Read more

    Celebrating Harmony Day: Respecting cultural diversity at work

    March 21 is Harmony Day. A celebration of Australian multiculturalism, the day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On this day, schools, workplaces and communities come together to celebrate our multicultural country. We’ve been doing so since 1999 and have held more than 70,000 Harmony Day events throughout […]

    Read more

    Casual vs. permanent part-time: What it means for your workplace rights

    Whether you’re searching for a new casual job or experiencing problems at your current workplace, understanding what your employment status means is critical for protecting your rights at work. Your entitlements change depending on your type of employment, so it’s important to be aware exactly what it means to be a part-time or casual worker. […]

    Read more