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In conversation with Elizabeth Broderick

Discrimination Sex Discrimination
Anne Summers with Elizabeth Broderick. Photo credit: James Horan.

Hundreds gathered at Sydney’s Recital Hall to hear Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick’s conversation with Australian writer Anne Summers.

With less than four months left of her term, Ms Broderick reflected on her time in the role; what made her, what needs to change and her thoughts.

"I'm not into fixing women," said Ms Broderick.

"We need more men in caring roles. We need to remove occupational gender differences. It's incumbent on all of us to speak out against sexism.

"If I could just do one thing as Sex Discrimination Commissioner, it would be to have better sharing of unpaid work and caring."

Ms Broderick went on to condemn violence against women.

"The most significant gender equality issue today is domestic violence."

"One in two women every night is turned away from a women's refuge. Prevention is not enough. We need properly funded domestic violence shelters," she said.

The gender pay gap and the trade-off women make to focus on caring rather than careers is also on the Commissioner's list of priorities.

"Work and care should not sit on one end of a hard place," she said.

"You can't be what you can't see.

On her work with the Defence Force, Broderick spoke of the inspiring people she met and how her work with them affected her.

"The military backed me," she said.

"Sometimes service comes at an unacceptable cost.

(but) How many militaries are in partnership with a Human Rights Commission?"

"I think (working with the military) made me more confident," she said.

Elizabeth Broderick completes her 8 year term as Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission on September 4.


Photo: Anne Summers with Elizabeth Broderick at the City Recital Hall. Photo credit: James Horan.