Australia Awards aims to ensure the equal participation and benefit, to the programme, by men and women. Both men and women have a vital role to play as transformative leaders in promoting gender equality and social inclusion in their workplace and communities.
The empowerment of women and girls is an integral part of Australia’s aid program. Australia Awards is committed to promoting gender equality. This encompasses enabling women to have a say in decisions that profoundly affect their lives and enjoy the benefits that accrue from gender-transformative development. Often, women do not enjoy the same opportunities and benefits as men in many countries, which puts them at a disadvantage. Consequently, every effort is made to redress gender disparities across the awards cycle. Australia Awards works with the national coordinating authorities and women’s organisations in Africa to ensure that as many eligible women as possible are reached at the award promotions stage.
Gender equality is an integral part of the Australian Government’s development policy. Gender equality priorities include the following:
- Enhancing women’s voice in decision-making, leadership and peace-building
- Promoting women’s economic empowerment
- Ending violence against women and girls
For more information, view the Australian Government’s Gender Equality Strategy.
Support for women
Women, regardless of their circumstances, may face various gender-related constraints while on overseas studies. Women with childcare responsibilities are offered the following means of support:
- Alternative interview arrangements for those unable to travel due to pregnancy
- Financial support for those requiring the services of a childminder when attending interviews and pre-departure briefings (Australia Awards will cover the cost of travel for the childminder)
- The ability to defer awards for those due to deliver during the time of the enrolled course
- Mentorship, facilitated through the Women in Leadership Network, by linking all female scholars to female Alumni from the same institution and country before travelling to Australia
Support for families
The decision to be enrolled in an overseas scholarship programme often impacts on the whole family. Both male and female applicants are encouraged to involve their partners in discussions and plans to take up either a short- or long-term award. Australia Awards offers the following support:
- All Australia Awards Scholarships scholars can be supported to mobilise to Australia with their immediate family. The family should carefully consider the implications of going on award as a family (child care costs, employment possibilities for a partner, balancing family responsibilities with study commitments, adjustment to a new environment, English language proficiency, etc.), as well as the implications of leaving them behind. Consider your course duration and make the requisite plans with your family and employer.
- Australia Awards Scholarships scholars with a minimum course duration of 24 months are entitled to one reunion airfare back home.
- The Africa Connect Facebook Group supports networking among scholars and Alumni and is an ideal opportunity for scholars to connect, share and support each other.