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Homelessness and women

Homelessness and women

By Vanessa Shambrook

Finance Women's Rights 


One of the main reasons women are at risk is related to gender-based economic and financial inequality. Many Australians are affected by the shortage of affordable and available rental housing but women, particularly those reliant on part-time wages or single parenting payments, may be more at risk than men. One of the main reasons is related to gender-based economic/financial inequality. Put simply, women are paid less than men. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency reports a national pay gap of 15.3 per cent. Further, women are more likely to take leave from the workplace for caring responsibilities and return to paid employment on a part-time or casual basis. Women make up 75 per cent of part-time workers in Australia. Returning to the workforce after extended leave can also be difficult. A third of women returning to the workforce after maternity leave believe they work in organisations that are not family-friendly resulting in a higher likelihood of psychological distress.1 Almost half of Victorians experiencing homelessness are women, with the most common cause being family violence,2 and the reason cited by 55 per cent of those women seeking specialist homeless services. Women and children who experience family violence are particularly vulnerable to homelessness.

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