Global women’s rights organisation, ActionAid
ActionAid Executive Director, Michelle Higelin welcomed a
“At a time when gender equality is deteriorating worl
“This was a moment for the Government to rise up rather than turn its back on some of the world’s poorest people.
“Women worldwide are experiencing the worst impacts of the economic and health crises brought on by COVID-19. The Government has committed $1.3 billion to gender equality initiatives yet at just 32 per cent of the overall foreign aid budget it is a major step backwards from its previous 80 per cent performance benchmark on gender.”
Ms Higelin said women are being hardest hit by COVID-19 on several fronts including widespread job losses and increased unpaid care work, gender-based violence
“One billion women workers are estimated to be out of work due to this crisis as women are overrepres
“The Government is leaving the world’s poorest countries to tackle this crisis alone.”
The Government continues to make cuts in regions where women face persistent gender inequality, alongside the growing impacts of the pandemic. Afghanistan,
ActionAid research has shown a shocking spike in violence against women worldwide since the emergence of COVID-19 with almost 10 times as many requests by women for support from protection shelters during lockdowns.*
An increased school drop-out rate for girls is likely to be another long-term impact of COVID-19 school closures. A recent ActionAid survey of teachers in 14 countries reported that unp
“Decades of progress on gender equality is at stake,” Ms Higelin said.
“Combined with the impacts of climate change, this crisis will have disastrous far-reaching ramifi
This is the seventh straight year without an increase to the foreign aid budget at a time when Australia is boosting defence spending and handing out tax cuts. Despite the critical emergency the world now faces, the Government has only provided $304 million in new funding for COVID-19 responses in the Pacific and Timor Leste.
“Australia remains at our stingiest in a time of urgent global need,” Ms Higelin said.
“While increased support for the Pacific is welcomed, as a global citizen, Australia has a responsibility that reaches far beyond our immediate neighbours to where there is greatest need. COVID-19 is a global challenge that requires international collaboration and targeted
“Australia’s leadership is vital to support women and girls to rise out of poverty globally. Women are
“This budget is failing women,” Ms Higelin said.
“Instead of record spending