TAMWORTH women got a direct line to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which they used to raised some of the common issues faced by women in the region.
Sexual Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins sat down with a group of women in Tamworth, who represented a broad cross section of women living in the region.
Ms Jenkins said part of her job was understand the issues faced by women in regional areas and if needed, be the voice for those women.
“It was really clear when I started the role two years ago that women in rural and regional areas are sometimes doing it tougher than those in the metro areas,” she said.
“The challenges range from less services to more gender violence, but there are also some great stories in regional areas.”
National Rural Women’s Coalition board member Lisa Shipley, who helped convene the meeting, said the local topics discussed included improving community health services and antenatal maternity service, particularly for Aboriginal women, along with a range of multiple-pronged issues faced by migrant and refugee women.
Ms Shipley wants to use the meeting to establish an ongoing local connection, particularly given the United Nation’s three-year focus on rural women.
“Normally when you need assistance from the Human Rights Commission, it’s a long drawn out process,” Ms Shipley said.
“So to have that direct line from Tamworth to the commissioner is amazing. Now we want to keep that ongoing connection.
“Everyone was extremely happy to meet her. It was a very community-orientated meeting.”