Discrimination can happen anywhere - at work, in the street, when purchasing goods or services.
Discrimination hates diversity. Gender, age, race, disability, sexuality; members of religious, political and union movements are often the target. So what are the risks from the Barnett Government’s review of discrimination protections and associated public services?
Have you experienced discrimination yourself, witnessed it or have heard credible stories. Can you complete our survey now?
West Australians are given legal protection from discrimination under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. These protections are enforced by the West Australian Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC).
The Barnett Government has announced a review of the Equal Opportunity Commission. While the terms of reference for the review don’t initially seem concerning (these can be viewed here), the real context for this is the savage cuts to public services. We’ve also seen conservative governments wind back protections under law for working people.
Can we trust the Barnett Government on protections against discrimination?
In collaboration with Save Our Services, UnionsWA is preparing a submission to this review. It is a real help to include personal stories of discrimination – whether it is your story or someone you know these will be valuable.
According to the ABS, the gender pay gap in WA is the worst in Australia. On average women working full-time in WA earn $479.20 per week, or 26.6% less than men. Pregnant women in particular face discrimination in employment, a matter I am passionate about and that is the subject of an inquiry at present.
Indigenous West Australians as well as those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds too often struggle to get fair treatment for housing, education or employment. One in five Australians have reported discrimination on the basis of race.
Discrimination on the ground of sexuality has only recently been included for protection under law.
Overall many people witness or experience discrimination. Having strong laws, and properly funded public institutions to protect our rights is vital.