There are many intersecting factors contributing to the gender equality gap in Australia, and various government and non-government agencies engaged in monitoring and addressing them. Yet there is no comprehensive, independent tool by which Australia’s progress towards gender equity is regularly measured.

This report from Emma Dawson, Tanja Kovac and Abigail Lewis for percapita tracks the life cycle of Australian women, from early childhood, through education, employment, unpaid work, parenting and care, to retirement and old age, and identifies the points at which they fall behind men in terms of their social and economic power. It investigates the impact of violence on women’s security and wellbeing, and the unequal treatment women receive in our health system; and looks at the way women are represented in our society, and how they fare in leadership roles.

Australia is one of few developed nations that does not actively set targets for gender equality and measure progress towards nationally agreed goals. As a result, we are falling behind – over the last 12 years, Australia has fallen from a rank of 15th to 44th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index.

Gendered data matters. Regular, transparent reports on performance against an agreed set of indicators is critical if we are to achieve the goal of gender equality. Without accountability, closing the gender gap in Australia and across the globe will remain merely an aspirational goal, rather than an achievable target.

This report looks at why gender equality in Australia is declining, and calls for a national commitment to arrest that decline. It is intended to provide the foundation for a long-term project to produce a national, comprehensive longitudinal study of the progress towards gender equality in Australia.

Download a copy of the report here: