Australia has made good progress towards achieving gender equality in recent times. However, women still experience inequality and discrimination in many important parts of their lives.
At work, women continue to face a gender ‘pay gap’ and barriers to leadership roles. Many encounter reduced employment opportunities because of the time they give to family and caring responsibilities.
Sexual harassment and gender-based violence
Sexual harassment and gender-based violence also threaten women’s basic right to feel safe and respected at work, in public, in places of study and at home.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 gives effect to Australia’s international human rights obligations and promotes equality between women and men.
The Act protects people from unfair treatment on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status, pregnancy and breastfeeding. It also protects workers with family responsibilities and makes sexual harassment against the law.
How to make a complaint
People who experience direct or indirect discrimination can make a complaint to the Commission using the complaints form.
The Commission works in partnership with a broad range of groups to promote gender equality and counter discrimination, sexual harassment, violence against women and other barriers to equality. We also act to overcome discrimination, harassment and hostility toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender-diverse people in Australia. More information on the LGBTIQ+ community.
We undertake major research projects and provide policy advice to the government and others to bring about positive change.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner
The Sex Discrimination Commissioner leads this work.
The Sex Discrimination Commissioner's role is to advance gender equality, consistent with the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
For more information
Find out how you can get involved in other parts of the Commission’s work and help make human rights a reality for everyone, everywhere, everyday.