Women's Human Rights Issues


Human rights help us to recognise and respect the value and fundamental worth in ourselves and in each other. Direct discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than another person, in the same or similar circumstances, in the areas of public life covered by the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. Indirect discrimination happens when a rule has a negative effect on a large proportion of people with a particular background.

Some of the key human rights problems faced by women in Australia include:

  • Homelessness- In Australia, many women live without adequate access to basic living requirements such as housing and food. The major causes of homelessness amongst women include domestic violence, sexual assault and family breakdown.
  • Violence against women (including sexual assault, domestic and family violence)- impacts upon the capacity of women to participate in social, economic and cultural life fully and equally.
  • Equal participation- women experience barriers to their full and equal participation in public life, including the paid work force. This includes the lack of legislated paid maternity leave scheme, discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Gender gap in income- many women in Australia have lower earnings over their lifetime than men and compared to men have significantly less retirement savings.

To make a complaint about discrimination:

In regards to state legislation:

WA Equal Opportunity Commission

Level 2, Westralia Square
141 St Georges Terrace
Phone: (08) 9216 3900
Facsimile: (08) 9216 3960
Country Callers (FREECALL): 1800 198 149
Email: eoc@equalopportunity.wa.gov.au

In regards to federal legislation:

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

133 Castlereagh Street
GPO Box 5218
Phone: (08) 9284 9600
Facsimile: (02) 9284 9611
General Enquiries: 1300 369 711
Complaints Hotline: 1300 656 419
Email: complaintsinfo@hreoc.gov.au

More Information: