Addressing Female Poverty: Causes and Solutions

National Portrait Gallery
King Edward Terrace
ACT 2600

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Melbourne Institute

  • Public Economics Forum

Women, and especially older women, are overrepresented in poverty statistics. Financial vulnerability may lead to financial stress, mental distress, social isolation, ill health and housing insecurity, or even homelessness. There are multiple causes of female poverty, including women’s role as the principal carer for children leading to weaker or severed connections to the labour force which can have long-term impacts on their careers and earning capacity. Relationship breakdown is more likely to lead to poverty for women than for men for these reasons. Financial dependency on a partner may also trap women in bad relationships and make it difficult to escape domestic violence.

Join us at the Public Economics Forum co-hosted by the Melbourne Institute and the Life Course Centre for a seated two-course lunch and to hear about the latest research and policy ideas, including:

  • The impact of separation on income and employment of women (and thus poverty)
  • The impact of domestic violence on female poverty
  • The role of policy in female poverty and to discuss:
    • What policies have worked so far to reduce female poverty
    • What further policy solutions could work to reduce female poverty

To address these questions, we have the following speakers:

PEF speakers

    Dr Barbara Broadway: Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, the University of Melbourne; and Life Course Centre
    Dr Barbara Broadway is an Applied Microeconomist who works in the areas of family economics and labour economics. Her research focuses on social policy and how it affects the welfare of families and households, and the education, health and labour market outcomes of children and parents. Barbara joined the Melbourne Institute in 2010 and is now a Senior Research Fellow. She has extensive experience evaluating policy schemes and reforms such as the Paid Parental Leave scheme and Welfare to Work reforms, and has undertaken research in this area for various Australian Government Departments at the federal level and state level.

    Dr Alice Campbell: Research Fellow, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland; and Life Course Centre
    Dr Alice Campbell is a Research Fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course, at the Institute for Social Science Research, the University of Queensland. She is a quantitative sociologist whose research falls under the broad themes of the sociology of gender and sexuality, family dynamics, social inequalities, and longitudinal and life-course studies. She is especially interested in understanding and addressing gender inequalities, with a focus on gender-based violence, women’s sexualities, single parents and post-separation families, and the feminization of care work.

    Dr Angela Jackson: Lead Economist, Impact Economics and Policy
    Dr Angela Jackson is a health economist and the Lead Economist at Impact Economics and Policy.  Starting her career at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Angela has worked across tax, fiscal and social policy. As the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Australian Finance Minister, Angela was responsible for providing policy advice across fiscal policy and all areas of social policy, including National Health Reform. Angela has authored a number of high profile reports on health, aged care, disability, housing and gender policy.

    Ms Victoria Anderson: Deputy Secretary, Commonwealth Treasury (moderator)
    Victoria Anderson commenced as Deputy Secretary Small Business, Housing, Corporate and Law Group in October 2023. She was previously Deputy Secretary Small Business, Housing and Employment White Paper Group. Victoria has previously held senior executive roles in the Treasury and the Department of Agriculture covering foreign investment, business conduct of multinationals, risk and corporate governance, drought policy, agricultural trade policy, biosecurity policy and industry assistance and adjustment.