Queensland Women’s Week 2021 (QWW) kicked off yesterday with a jam-packed program of events aimed at celebrating Queensland women and girls and supporting them after a challenging 2020.

Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said this year’s QWW was more important than ever as Queenslanders need to do all they can to recognise the achievements of women and girls.

“We know women were disproportionately impacted by COVID; their economic security was hit hard.

“Women endured the double impact of working in many of the continuing frontline jobs such as health care and cleaning and being concentrated in industries most impacted by shutdowns such as retail and hospitality.”

The theme for this year’s Queensland Women’s Week is ‘Celebrate our present. Own our future’, acknowledging the achievements of women in a year that was heavily impacted by the risks and challenges of COVID-19, as the community strives to move forward.

“As we continue to rebuild Queensland’s economy, the Palaszczuk Government knows how important it is to put women at the forefront of all our plans and actions.

“We have done this by creating skills pathways for women such as our Skilling Queenslanders for Work, Free TAFE and Free apprenticeships.

“And we continue to support more women in male dominated industries such as STEM and traditional trades in our policy making decisions, and to support them to thrive in small business.”

Tragically the COVID-19 pandemic has also seen an increase in violence against with almost 1 in 10 women in a relationship experienced domestic violence during the COVID crisis, with two-thirds saying attacks started or became worse.

“The Palaszczuk Government has invested $152M in keeping Queensland women and girls safe and supported.”

The Minister for Women, Ms Fentiman, said QWW also gave the Sunshine State an opportunity to address gender equality.

“I’m proud of the work our Government has undertaken, and will continue to work on, to remove discrimination and unfairness in our community and workplaces for women.

“Our work in this field is far from done as we continue to address the gender pay gap, the under-representation of women in traditionally male-dominated industries, and women experiencing high levels of sexual offences and domestic and family violence.

“Gender equality and domestic and family violence issues remain at the forefront of the Queensland Government’s priorities, as outlined in the Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-21.”

Consultation is expected to commence soon to inform the next Queensland Women’s Strategy.

A full list of the events and activities held during QWW can be found at: www.cyjma.qld.gov.au/campaign/queensland-womens-week/events. Information about the current Queensland Women’s Strategy can be found at: www.csyw.qld.gov.au/campaign/womens-strategy/queensland-womens-strategy.

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