In March, Cube brought together more than 100 of the best and brightest minds in policy design and service delivery to discuss how women are disproportionately impacted by the “missing middle”.
That discussion could not have been more prescient. In the intervening months, the world has been enveloped in one of the most devastating pandemics in living history; an event already proving to have devasting new impacts on women.
The pandemic’s effects are far reaching, impacting our physical and mental health, the economy, education systems, travel, workplaces and even our rule of law. But perhaps nowhere have the consequences been more keenly observed than across social issues that disproportionally effect women: insecure and casual work, family violence, homelessness and financial inequality.
In fact, women’s financial inequality has increased so rapidly that research for the Financy Women’s Index has shown that for every month affected by the pandemic, Australian women have been losing one year in progress towards economic equality. Direct action to address the missing middle and its gendered nature has never been more important.
So, as you turn your mind to recovery and focussing efforts on how to best help those disproportionately impact by the pandemic, we thought it timely to revisit the insights from our research and your valuable contributions to the conversation.
Two key themes clearly emerged from the discussions: the need for a holistic approach to designing and delivering integrated services addressing the needs of women, and the importance of genuinely incorporating the lived experience of women in all aspects of policy design, implementation and review.
Building on this, Creating a better future for Victorian women aims to overcome existing barriers by identifying new pathways to create real change, supporting you as leaders in navigating this new normal and giving voice to those who would otherwise miss out.
We will be continuing the conversation across many sectors in the coming year, and welcome those who would like to be involved by reaching out to us at [email protected]