Australia: National plan needed to empower First Nations women
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released a report on Australia’s First Nations women and girls, with an ambitious, female-led plan.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released a landmark report on Australia's First Nations women and girls, with an ambitious, female-led plan for structural reform.
Wiyi Yani U Thangani—(Women's Voices)—Securing Our Rights, Securing Our Future Report 2020 is the result of consultations with thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls of all ages in remote, very remote, regional and urban communities.
The report calls for the urgent establishment of a National Action Plan, an advisory body and targets and benchmarks for women and girls to lead in all areas of life.
"This report is a call to action. It's a strengths-based message for all Australians to see, to hear, to learn of the remarkable resilience and capabilities of our women and girls, who have the solutions but lack a seat at the table," Commissioner June Oscar said.
"We gave Indigenous women and girls the space to say what they wanted, to share their ideas, without fear or favour. That's exactly what they did," she said.
"My team and I have been moved by the sheer resilience of our First Nations women and girls, who despite ongoing disadvantage across all areas of life, continue to hold their communities and families together."
The report includes key principles, overarching recommendations and a series of priority actions to enable communities to thrive and overcome profound disadvantage.
The recommendations include:
- A National Action Plan on advancing the well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls
- Conduct a National Summit and establish a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Girls Advisory Body
- Empowering women's leadership on the ground
- Protecting, supporting and reviving Aboriginal and Torres Strait cultural practices and knowledge systems
- An urgent focus on healing from intergenerational trauma
- National action to eradicate racism
- Local and regional focused engagement.
They set out key structural reforms to address cross-cutting systemic issues of marginalisation, trauma and intersectional discrimination, and to fundamentally shift how Australian governments engage with First Nations women and girls.
Wiyi Yani U Thangani has been supported by a multi-year partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency. It is the first national engagement project of its kind since the Women's Business Report in 1986.
The Commission has also published a community guide to accompany the report.
Date: 10 December 2020
- Image credit: artwork by Elaine Chambers & Riki Salam in collaboration