Measure for Measure draws on existing studies and statistical analyses available to gather a comprehensive account of the factors contributing to the gender equality gap, and chart annual progress in reducing gender inequality in each area. The report provides a detailed examination of causal factors, and identifies measures that are working to close the gap.

Following the release of the inaugural report in 2020, Per Capita is seeking funding support to continue the project and publish an updated report annually. This will involve maintaining a database of developments in each field of research; conducting new original research into emerging and developing issues; crafting indices and dashboards to measure progress in different spheres; engaging research partners, non-government organisations and policy makers at a state and federal level to advocate for change.

What issues are addressed?

Australia is ranked 44th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. We have dropped from a position of 15th in 2006 – a fall of 29 places in just 14 years.

This groundbreaking report tracks the life cycle of Australian women, from early childhood, through education, employment, unpaid work, parenting and care, to retirement and old age, and identifies the points at which they fall behind men in terms of their social and economic power.

The report looks at causal factors for women’s relative disadvantage, including the gender pay gap, unpaid care work, family violence, unequal treatment in our health system, media representation, and women’s leadership.

Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?

Australia is one of few developed nations that does not actively set targets for gender equality and measure progress towards nationally agreed goals. As a result, we are falling behind.

Most countries that are now out-performing Australia on the GGGI produce an annual review of national performance against gender equality targets. To allow Australia to do the same, we must understand how the causes of women’s economic, social and material disadvantage in Australia begin shortly after birth, and compound across the life course, resulting in a stark and pernicious inequality between Australian men and women in their older age.

This report brings together, for the first time, an overview of the evidence of this accumulated disadvantage to Australian women with an analysis of its causes and recommendations for change; and makes the case for a national, bi-partisan commitment to measure, evaluate and take action to close the gender equality gap in Australia.

Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?

Over time, by examining consistently the same variables, Measure for Measure will build an invaluable longitudinal study of the progress towards gender equality in Australia, which can be drawn upon by researchers and policy makers to craft programs to close the gap, and used to inform Australia’s international reporting to the various international bodies that measure global gender equality

Investing in or empowering women?

Until Measure for Measure, there was no comprehensive, independent tool by which these many contributing factors could be regularly assessed and analysed to give a deeper understanding of the intersecting causes of gender inequality in Australia, and to provide evidence to inform policies and practices to reduce it.

Media / Promotion?

The inaugural report was widely disseminated through media, and its call for a government commitment to annual gender equality reporting was endorsed by The Age editorial on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020.

It was also covered by ABC Radio and ABC News Online, the Nine papers, BroadAgenda, Women’s Agenda, Pro Bono Australia, and various regional papers.

How is success evaluated / measured?

Per Capita tracks media impact through the use of Meltwater Software and social media metrics.

With each annual report, progress against the metrics set out in Measure for Measure will be tracked and updated.

Policy implementation is measured by tracking policy commitments and legislative changes against the recommendations of each annual report.