On Wednesday 25th September 2019 the annual Empowering Women, Changing Lives breakfast was held at Parliament House, hosted by the Keeping Women out of Prison coalition.
The Zonta Club of Sydney are proud to be part of the coalition, along with organisations including Sydney Community Foundation, Dress for Success, Women’s Justice Network, SHINE for kids as well as Corrective Services and universities among others.
This years breakfast was a sell out, and it was wonderful to see so many people attending, including may from all sides of politics.
Those attending heard the guest speaker, Sam Mostyn, Chair Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) speak about the links between violence against women and the imprisonment of women. She discussed findings from ANROWS funded research on the support needs of women in prison, which included the stark statistic –
“90% of women in prison have a history of emotional, sexual and physical abuse.”
According to the ANROWS – Forgotten victims report – women affected by abusive relationships and the criminal justice system, are not empowered to access help independently. “The lack of coordination between services and integration with prisons is not supporting women to independence due to the complexity of her needs.”
The KWOOP Coalition, are calling for more investment in proven diversionary programs for women and their children serving shorter sentences, to help reduce the increasing population of women in prison in NSW. For children of women in prison, lives are significantly disrupted, the impacts life long. Children in care are much more likely to go to prison than to university and continue to be over-represented in the criminal justice system.
To learn more about the KWOOP coalition, or to hear more about the involvement of Zonta Club of Sydney please feel free to contact the club at email@example.com or come along to a club meeting, which are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.