Anne Summers in Conversation with Elizabeth Broderick

Thursday, 7 May, 2015 6:30PM
City Recital Hall

Anne Summers in Conversation with Elizabeth Broderick

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Anne Summers in Conversation with Elizabeth Broderick: an evening of appreciation and gratitude

As she nears the end of her eight years as Sex Discrimination Commissioner, this is an opportunity to hear Elizabeth Broderick review and assess the ways in which Australia is now a better place for women. Elizabeth has served longer in this position than any of her predecessors and so is extremely well placed to talk about how the Sex Discrimination Act has operated to both identify and provide remedies against discrimination against women.

Since its inception in 1984 the law has expanded to address issues such as sexual harassment, breast-feeding in public and the family responsibilities of men. The two initial exemptions from the Act have long since been removed, enabling the government to create a paid parental leave scheme and enabling women to serve in combat roles in the military.

As Sex Discrimination Commissioner since 2007, Elizabeth Broderick helped instigate the paid parental leave, started a national discussion about pregnancy discrimination against women in the workforce, revealed the abuse of women in the Australian Defence Force and created the Male Champions of Change, a group of 25 leading CEOs who have pledged to gender equality in their companies.

Elizabeth has also been an active advocate for women on the international stage. She advises NATO, is on the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development and is Global Co-Chair of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group – a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women.

She has worked tirelessly on issues such as domestic violence, the incidence of foetal alcohol syndrome in remote Indigenous communities and on collaborating with the trade union movement to remove discrimination against employed women.

Elizabeth and Anne, herself a long-standing campaigner for women’s equality, will engage in what promises to be a focussed and informative discussion of the progress that Australian women have made and the barriers that still stand in the way of full gender equality.

The evening will also be an opportunity for us to express our gratitude and appreciation to Elizabeth Broderick for all the work she has done for Australian women.