The Minister for Women Tanya Davies MP today has again revealed her lack of commitment to addressing the needs of young Aboriginal girls and women.

On Wednesday in Question Time, the NSW Labor Opposition asked the Minister whether the $3.75 million to support an additional 1,000 student placements in the Clontarf Foundation program, which encourages Aboriginal boys and young men to stay at school, had been matched by a similar investment in school retention for Aboriginal girls and women.

A similar organisation which focuses on girls and young women, The Girls Academy, has been capped at 800 spaces until 2019 and the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government has consistently refused to increase its funding. Research consistently shows that investing in Aboriginal girls’ education leads to better health outcomes for children reduces out-of-home care placements and provides better pathways to economic empowerment and closing the gap.

The Minister for Women started her response by an outrageous attack on Labor’s Policy of flying the Aboriginal Flag on Sydney Harbour Bridge everyday – an idea initiated by a 27-year-old Kamilaroi woman, Cheree Toka.

The Minister’s response shows a disrespectful treatment of Aboriginal women and a complete ignorance of contemporary Aboriginal issues. On the eve of NAIDOC week, for which the theme is “Because of her, we can!”, the Minister for Women has shown that she is the biggest impediment to Aboriginal women's progress in New South Wales.

The Minister has failed to show any understanding of the intersectional needs of women from key groups of disadvantage in her so-called Women Fact Sheet 2018-19 NSW Budget ‘Highlights’ Document which showed a paltry additional investment of $4 million as the sole targeted budget investment for women in New South Wales, with no mention of any funding to meet the special needs of women with disabilities, ageing women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, or Aboriginal women.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, David Harris MP

“Aboriginal women and girls are one of the most vulnerable groups in our state.

“The Government needs to ensure that they invest in both Aboriginal girls and boys to stop intersectional disadvantage and to change lives for everyone in Aboriginal Communities.

“Completion of education should be just as important for Aboriginal girls as it is for Aboriginal boys. Why has the Government failed to put a similar focus on the education priorities of Aboriginal women?

Quotes attributed to Shadow Minister for Women, Jenny Aitchison MP

“All communities prosper when we invest in women and girls. NSW needs a Minister for Women who is prepared to stand up for all women, from all communities.

“We need to ensure that we have gender equity across all program areas in the NSW Budget. The Minister for Women’s Budget Highlights Document is woeful and could be condensed to one sentence. It’s simply not worth the paper it is written on.

“The Minister for Women has added nothing to this Budget, it defies logic as to why the Premier has appointed her to this position and why she remains. She should be sacked.

“Where are the programs for Aboriginal women, for women with disabilities, for women from culturally and linguistically diverse communities?

““Women in our state need more than a few nappies when they have a baby. A Minister who will stand up for them, not ridicule them and fail to give the nod to targeted funding programs for women.”

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