Inequality in Australia report reveals women among the nation’s most disadvantaged

31 July 2018

The Inequality in Australia 2018 report launched today by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and UNSW Sydney finds there is growing wealth inequality across the nation with women experiencing disadvantage across all ages.

“We value the opportunity to partner with ACOSS in this important new report,” said Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand CEO, Stella Avramopoulos. “Australia is a prosperous country yet the accumulation of wealth is not distributed fairly. This affects individuals, families and future generations.”

Among those who are over-represented in the lowest 20 per cent of households by income are sole parents (36 per cent), over 65s (39 per cent), people who are unemployed (77 per cent), people who are born in non-English speaking countries (24 per cent) and people living outside capital cities (25 per cent).

“As an organisation with a strong focus on women and girls, we know that sole parents are a particularly vulnerable group,” said Ms Avramopoulos. “Women represent 82 per cent of sole parents. They experience unique challenges caused by inadequate income support payments, welfare conditionality and ongoing exclusion and discrimination in the labour market.”

There is growing evidence that single women over 60 are faring poorly. They belong to the lowest income-earning family group, earning less than $30,000 a year and most likely the highest single household type to live in poverty.

“Other research shows that women over 55 are in the fastest-growing group of homeless persons,” added Ms Avramopoulos.

The Inequality in Australia 2018 report is the first in a series to be produced over five years. It is the result of a partnership with Good Shepherd and other leading social service organisations who are united in an effort to reduce poverty and inequality.

“By establishing an evidence base over time and working collaboratively for policy reform, we hope this partnership will make inroads into eradicating poverty and inequality in Australia,” Ms Avramopoulos said.

Read the report


Dr Annie Pettitt, General Manager Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships, attended today's launch and is available for comment. Contact Ethne Pfeiffer on 0411 478 111.