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Newsletter issue 17 July 2010

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Coming up...

eptember S 4 y a D - Equal Pay October in g in t e e eneral M G l a u n n A - WIRE’s

Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc.


Welcome

to our July edition of Hotwire

and WIRE’s brand new look! While we had initial reservations about relinquishing our traditional feminist colours, we couldn’t resist this bright new image and colour scheme. I hope you all love it as much as we do. Look out for our new website coming soon in October and invitations to WIRE’s AGM in October!

Samiro Douglas WIRE IN NEW YORK! WIRE CEO Samiro Douglas attends the Global Women’s Conference- Beijing +15 amidst a snowstorm. The east coast of America was having the fourth heaviest snow fall on record when I arrived at New York to attend the Global Women’s Conference—Beijing+15 and a few days of the annual reporting to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women.

2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Together with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Millennium Declaration, it forms the international framework for empowering women and advancing gender equality, and helps improve recognition and implementation of women’s rights in national policies and legislation globally. The UN Commission on the Status of Women is an intergovernmental body with 45 elected member states from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe and other states, and meets annually to set universal standards regarding gender equality. Around 8,000 women registered to attend this year. The event truly reflected the global population, not just white Western women, and made me recognise the importance, as well as weakness, of bodies like the United Nations. Listening to stories of women’s and girls’ efforts to help one another overcome disadvantage highlighted the benefits we Australian women have. “It also made me acutely aware that despite a more prosperous front door,

a punch is a punch, fear is fear and homelessness is homelessness.”

At WIRE, women talk to us daily of their experiences of violence against them and their children, as well as homelessness. So, it was great to see WIRE’s work fit under the Platform for Action and the CSW framework, especially our work in stopping violence against women and improving women’s economic security through our work in the area of women’s financial literacy and advocacy around the gender pay gap.

MILESTONES FOR WOMEN... 24th June: Australia’s First Female Prime Minister Julia Gillard 24th June: Sex Discrimination Act 1984 providing stronger protection for Australians with family responsibilities 23rd June: Gender Equality Blueprint for Australia 2010 launched by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick http://www.hreoc.gov.au/sex_discrimination/publication/blueprint/index.html 17th June: Paid 18-Week Parental Leave for all working women from 1st January 2011 http:// www.familyassist.gov.au/news-and-updates/paid-parental-leave-scheme.html

QUOTE:

“Paid Parental Leave is the tip of what needs to be a revolution of women’s working

rights.”

Sharan Burrow former ACTU President and newly-elected General Secretary ITUC


YOUNG WOMEN & MONEY RESEARCH REPORT

PREVENT IDENTITY FRAUD Identity fraud affects 4.4 million Australians at a cost of $4 billion a year, and professional women in their 20s and 30s are most at risk.

WIRE’s Young Women & Money Research Report was launched on Monday 19 April 2010 by Parliamentary Secretary for Justice Marsha Thomson at our Women’s Information Centre. Funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria, the report explored young women’s relationships with money and identifies mediums and strategies for communicating financial information. Ninety-two Victorian women aged 15 to 25 were interviewed on topics which included credit cards, HECS debt and mobile phone plans.

Young Women & Money

SOME TIPS

RESEARCH REPORT 2010

“ Thewholething’sconfusing- Iaskmumanddadfirst ” “ Practicalstepbystepinformation- whatdoesyourmobilephonereally cost-howtoworkoutinterest onacreditcard”

Shred old bank statement, bills, cards, mail or any other document with your personal details before dumping them in the rubbish or recycling bin

Physically destroy hard-drive or other memory storage devices before throwing them out

“ Awebsitewouldbegood,butif youstilldon’tunderstandthen apersonwouldbebest ”

Women’s Informat Referral Exchang ion and e Inc.

Level 1 210 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Tel (03) 9921 0870 Fax (03) 9921 0888

Service Line 1300 134 130

wire@wire.org.au www.wire.org.au

ABN 98 957

157 895 Reg. No. A122

Key Research Findings •

Young women turned to their parents first for information on money: mothers for day-to-day practical advice and fathers for strategic advice for the future. Young women lived at home longer with partial or full parental financial support, often delaying financial independence. Young women’s most common debt problem was HECS debt. Credit card and mobile phone debts came next.

Young women felt that unsolicited and unassessed credit limit offers from banks put them at risk of living beyond their means and getting into debt.

Young women wanted step-by-step financial information with practical examples covering issues such as choosing mobile phone plans, through a well-advertised website or face-to-face at schools and youth events.

TIP: Use a hammer to destroy your hard drives before throwing them out!

Women’s Informat Referral Exchang ion and e Inc.

Secure your mail box or use a post office box

Beware online phishing—where personal information is solicited under the guise of a reputable company with a slightly altered website address

Change your pins and password regularly and do not write down such information

Use the privacy settings on your devices and online sites (usually in your account settings)

Consider an application for the remote lock-down or wipe-out for your mobile phone or device

Make sure that the online sites you do your business with, such as online banking or shopping, are secure and reputable

Filter your email for spam and keep your antivirus and anti-malware software up-to-date

Do not leave personal information on social networking sites or on public computers or discuss personal details in public; always click the DELETE BROWSING HISTORY button on the toolbar (usually under “Safety”) before leaving websites.

Choose your friends carefully on social networking sites and make sure you have clicked on the correct privacy mode

What We Recommended The report made 21 recommendations including: •

To endorse Federal government’s current reforms to review unsolicited credit card extensions without current financial assessment

Victorian Government to continue to fund financial literacy strategies and programs

Education department and Consumer Affairs Victoria to provide accessible and independent financial information through schools and tertiary institutions

Australian Bankers Association to help banks develop practical guides for young women on achieving financial independence

Download the report at http://www.wire.org.au

WARNING: Nine times out of ten, fraudsters can identify you with just your name, gender and postcode, or send malware (malicious software) through your email address! National Identity Fraud Awareness Week will run from 9th to 15th October 2010. http://www. stopidtheft.com.au/


COMING UP AT WIRE... 22th Jul

Free WIRE Seminar “Song of the Soul” by Stephanie Dale [BOOKED OUT!]

27th Jul

Free WIRE Seminar “Post-Natal Depression for Caregivers” by Helen Rimington 9921 0878

17th Aug

Free WIRE Seminar “Trust Your Future” by Eva Maria 9921 0878

1st/2nd Sep

WIRE Orientation for Telephone Support Volunteer Training 1300 134 130

14th Sep

Free WIRE Seminar “Elder Abuse” by Gary Ferguson 9921 0878

Oct/Nov

WIRE Telephone Support Volunteer Training starts 1300 134 130

25th Oct

WIRE’s Annual General Meeting

Date TBC

WIRE TAA 40104 Certificate IV Training and Assessment Course 9921 0870

Date TBC

WIRE Governance Training for Board Members 9921 0875

For bookings or more information, please visit http://www.wire.org.au or call numbers listed above.

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE AND WHAT IT MEANS After 30 years of tireless lobbying by women and their supporters, Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave bill was passed by the Senate on 17th June 2010. Commences Babies born/adopted on/after 1 January 2011 For All mothers or fathers who work* full-time, part-time, on a casual or seasonal basis, or are self-employed *Minimum 330 hours paid work in 10 months; and worked continuously for at least 10 of the 13 months before expected birth or adoption (with a maximum of 2 months’ break)

How long? Up to 18 weeks’ paid leave for primary carer How much?** At minimum wage (currently $570 per week before tax) **Income test not exceed $150,000 adjusted taxable income in the previous financial year.

This means... •

all working Australian parents will have access to paid parental leave

better maternal and child health development

a better balance between work and family responsibilities

boosting our economy by supporting more women to balance work and family

better health and financial security for Australia’s working mums

For more information on the paid parental leave scheme and eligibility, please visit http://www.familyassist.gov.au/newsand-updates/paid-parental-leave-scheme.html or call Family Assistance Office at 13 61 50.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONLINE Ever clicked onto an offensive and/or sexist website or video unintentionally and wish you could delete it permanently for everyone else? Sounds impossible? Well, you actually can. •

For publically hosted websites (e.g. YouTube, Blogger), click on the Flag link on the actual website if you find the content offensive or inappropriate

Many Flags are needed to shut an offensive or inappropriate site down. Tell your friends to go to the website and Flag it as well.

For a privately hosted website, write to the Australian Communications and Media Authority about your concerns, and get your friends to do the same at: Level 44 Melbourne Central Tower, 360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne Vic. 3000 PO Box 13112 Law Courts, Melbourne Vic 8010 Tel: 03 9963 6800 Fax: 03 9963 6899 TTY: 03 9963 6948

Congratulations

to WIRE supporter Jenny Ouliaras. Inspired by WIRE’s 2009 International Women’s Day luncheon about simple actions to stop the sexualisation of young girls, she successfully lobbied for the removal of a billboard promoting a strip club from being displayed next to Fitzroy North Primary School. Well done! (The Melbourne Times, 21/4/10; Melbourne Leader Yarra Ed. 12/4/10)

Published July 2010 Copright of Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc. ABN 98 957 157 895 Reg. No. A122


Hotwire Newsletter #17 July 2010