[Extract] It has been almost 20 years since the ground-breaking report of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), Equality Before the Law: Justice for Women. The two-volume report exposed a variety of ways in which the law failed to address justice for women, and made a number of recommendations to address this. One of the areas addressed in the report is women's participation in legal and political institutions – both of which were found to lack the contribution of women.
"The comparative lack of women in positions of influence within the legal profession affects women's access to justice. A woman who needs to make use of the law finds herself in a doubly alien environment, as a non-lawyer and as a woman."
"The equal participation of women in political institutions and the legislative process is clearly essential if laws are to give equal weight to the concerns, needs and perspectives of women. Not only does the relative absence of women from positions of political power help undermine the serious consideration of women's claims to equality, but legislation is the only means of effecting change in the law quickly and directly."
Have things changed since this 1994 report? Not as much as we might have hoped.
|Journal||Right Now: Human Rights in Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Oct 2013|