Financial security, gender equity and health

Evidence & Translation

Reducing the inequalities for women by focusing on the intersection of economic wellbeing and health.

The World Economic Forum recently reported that Australia has fallen dramatically to 70th in the world in economic opportunity and participation for women, despite the highest educational attainment rates for women in the world. Across the life-course women face an employment gap. This begins at age 20-24 and widens in the late 20s, and through the 30s and 40s – the parenting years – and is never closed across all age groups. For women themselves, labour force absence comes at enormous individual cost through lower income and increased poverty risk. Enabling women’s labour force participation requires addressing barriers women currently face – which overwhelming are tied to pregnancy and raising children.

The Group is currently working to better understand the economic impacts of women’s labour force participation, including the implications labour force absence has on poverty risk and wealth accumulation for women. We are also working with women to identify barriers and enablers to women’s labour force participation to help design policy solutions to close the gender gap in employment, income and wealth in Australia.

Read the latest article by A/Prof Callander –  The gender wealth gap is a critical barrier to Australia’s economic growth.

We are working towards addressing the root causes of these inequalities, advocating for policy and practice reform that closes gender gaps in income, employment, and health. We are using policy analysis, economic analysis and community engagement to understand the core issues of importance to women, and providing evidence of barriers and enablers to help shape solutions.

Implementation & Impact

 Our previous work has identified the intersectional relationship between poverty, income and health in Australia, including creating a multidimensional measure of poverty. We have created new knowledge to understand the drivers of people falling into poverty and of staying in poverty (chronic poverty).


Research Streams
Access to childcare and labour force participation
Costs of labour force absence for women
Drivers of labour force absence and poverty amongst women, and enablers for labour force re-engagement

Student Research Projects

This team offers a variety of Honours, Masters and PhD projects for students. There are also a number of short-term research opportunities available. You are encouraged to get in touch regarding potential projects that align with the research areas.