NWJC - National Women's Justice Coalition Inc

The NWJC is a coalition of organisations and individuals which aims to promote women's equality before the law in Australia.

In 1994 the Australian Law Reform Commission released three reports on Equality Before the Law which in summary reported on what the ALRC refered to as the failure of justice for women in Australia.

The NWJC was established in the wake of the ALRC's reports in February 1995.

The NWJC was formed by Women's Legal Services (WLS's) and WLS establishment groups in each Australian state and territory and the Women's Electoral Lobby (Australia). Networking assistance at the point of formation was provided by CAPOW! (the Coalition of Participating Organisations of Women).

The NWJC aims to promote women's equality before the law by working at a national level and focusing on:


raising awareness of issues relating to women's legal equality
coordinating and lobbying on women's justice issues, and
building networks and facilitating the work of individuals and groups

The NWJC is working to create:


A society that respects and protects basic human rights allowing women, men and children to be treated fairly and without bias due to gender or discrimination on any other grounds,

A justice system which protects women's rights equally, where women who for whatever reason, come into contact with the courts and tribunals are respected and treated as individuals without bias or prejudice,

A governmental system in which issues which affect women, matters relevant to women's equality and women's views are routinely taken into account in shaping policy,

A legal system where women and men are equally involved in the development, application, administration and enforcement of the law, and

A legal system where women's perspectives are included in shaping legal concepts and doctrines and where career opportunities for women are as diverse as the profession offers.



The NWJC endorses the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.



The NWJC considers that:


women's subordination under the law is an obstacle to the achievement of equality and it is a manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between men and women,

women's subordination under the law supports and entrenches women's economic, social and political subordination in society, and

violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position and the legal system's tolerance of violence against women is a key issue in women's legal subordination.

The NWJC advances women's equality before the law in Australia by promoting broad awareness of women's justice issues, networking nationally, and providing advisory and technical assistance to members working on women's justice issues.

The NWJC focuses on national issues and national networking but assists state based and regional groups and individuals to link up with expert assistance, form networks and provide effective input on state / territory and local women's justice issues.



Why a Coalition?

The NWJC is a coalition of organisations and individuals because real progress on women's legal equality in Australia will only be brought about through mass activity at many levels. This is the only way we can hope to achieve real and sustainable progress.

The national coalition approach opens up strategies and levels of support and activity which are simply not possible using any other approach.

Every member of the coalition through their membership and commitment directly supports and furthers their own work and the work of many thousands of others.

The membership currently includes about 35 national organisations, about 200 state based services or networks and a similar number of individuals. Membership is open to organisations and individuals who support the NWJC's purposes.




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