Women's Policy Action Tank

Women and men experience the impacts of government policy in different ways; this is obvious in specific policy areas such as childcare and family violence. However, most policies in Australia purport to be gender neutral.  Our Women's Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre coordinates the Women's Policy Action Tank to influence policy debate, development and implementation. The Action Tank brings together a network of experts to apply a gender lens to policy formation and evaluation and advocate for Australian women.


The Action Tank operates under the umbrella of the Power to Persuade, a partnership with Gemma Carey of the Australian National University and a coalition of organisations including St Vincent de Paul, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Swinburne University and Good Shepherd.

In 2015 the WRAP Centre coordinated the inaugural and highly successful Power to Persuade: Gender Forum to explore the gender values and norms that underpin a range of policies and increase understanding of the reasons for, and effects of, strategic inclusion or calculated exclusion of gender considerations in policy discourse and implementation. The idea for the Action Tank emerged from this forum.

The objectives of the Action Tank include:

  • To facilitate a coordinated effort in Australia to apply a gender lens to policy formulation and policy effectiveness
  • To highlight areas in which women are disadvantaged by policy—in economic, social and health and well-being terms
  • To support the development of better policy through analysis, research and application of specialist expertise
  • To coordinate, encourage and support policy assessment and advocacy across a range of disciplines, not limited to those in relation to which gender issues are typically raised
  • To identify areas of critical intersectionality, in which women may experience compounded disadvantage through multiple policy absences (e.g. women who are in the justice system, women who are homeless, women who are asylum seekers)
  • To identify potential policy solutions to entrenched female disadvantage
  • To equip policy actors with:
      • increased understanding of how policy impacts women and men differently
      • increased knowledge about how policies are formulated
      • increased access to networks with other policy actors.

Join the conversation, follow the Women's Policy Action Tank on Twitter @PolicyforWomen or via the blog