Dear Friend

Happy International Women’s Day for earlier this month.

This year's theme for International Women's Day is gender parity.

The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133.

It is going to take 117 years before women and girls experience gender parity with boys and men.

Here in Australia we have a gender pay gap of almost 18%. While there are more women studying for a tertiary qualification, male graduates are paid on average $3000 more per annum than female graduates. Women are worse off financially than men later in life as well. Women receive on average half the superannuation of men.

So what can we do?

Visit the International Women’s Day web-site and make a pledge for parity.

Make a pledge. Make a difference.  Make every day International Women's Day.

Here at the National Office for the Participation of Women we continue to strive to keep the issue of gender parity front and centre on our agenda too. Women do most of the work of the Church (education, health, social services, lay pastoral ministry etc) and yet still all of our episcopal decision-makers and leaders are men. This gender disparity in our Church will remain an issue until it is adequately addressed by our leaders. The Council for Australian Catholic Women aim to tackle this difficult issue at their Colloquium Women as Witnesses to the Joy of the Gospel to be held 17-18 September 2016 in Sydney. I encourage you to visit the Colloquium web-site and consider joining us for what will be enlightening and enlivening dialogue.

I will be taking some long service leave over the next couple of months. My colleague Andrea Dean will be filling in for me during this time. If you have any articles you’d like to contribute to Women Matter please contact Andrea on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Articles should be around 800 words in length and include a picture. We look forward to hearing from you!

Easter blessings,


March 2016

Donella Johnston
Director, National Office for the Participation of Women
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T: 02 6201 9867
M: 0448 234 775