In the wake of the March 4 Justice protests, a call to demand the Australian government take action against gendered and sexual violence, and the positive aftermath of brave activism by Australian women such as Australian of the Year and marie claire cover star Grace Tame, former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins and Chanel Contos, many were waiting to see if the 2021 Federal Budget would address specific concerns directed to the safety of women in this country.
Read on for our breakdown of how the 2021 Federal Budget affects women.
Domestic Violence Services
In addressing those concerns, the government said: “attitudes towards violence against women are improving, some attitudes remain concerning”, going on to cite research that says one in five Australians believe many actions that constitute domestic violence are “normal reactions.”
In an attempt to change the attitudes of young Australians, the government will be spending $35.1 million on education resources and prevention, and in a bid to change attitudes like this from a young age, the government says it will spend $35.1 million on prevention.
Following the budget release, domestic violence services spoke of the welcome move from the government, with Queensland’s Women’s Legal Service CEO Angela Lynch saying the budget would provide women fleeing domestic violence situations greater access to vital assistance.
“I absolutely believe this support over four years will help more women and children get the legal help they need,” she said, via ABC. “What we know is specialist legal advice is essential for safe outcomes for women and children escaping violence in this country.”
Other Safety Measures Include:
Among the increased safety measures outlined in the budget include $29 million towards specific measures supporting migrant and refugee women experiencing domestic or family violence; $10 million for additional education resources teaching young Australians about respectful relationships; and $23 million to address online harm.
Interestingly, the budget touched on a new scheme for endometriosis sufferers across Australia.
“The Government was also providing in this budget new funding for endometriosis, research into preterm birth and genetic testing for pregnant women,” it announced.
While no exact dollar value was provided, endometriosis affects 1 in 9 women, and currently, there are approximately 830,000 women living with endo in Australia, according to Endometriosis Australia.