The gender disparity

Appropriate and secure housing is a basic human need and right that is not being adequately met by the public or private sectors. Housing has never been more unaffordable.

Housing stress and homelessness are deeply gendered issues. The rate of homelessness is accelerating amongst women. The inherent financial disadvantage that women face limits their access to secure and affordable housing. This disadvantage is based on gender inequality and is experienced at every age and stage of a woman’s life.

Women earn less than men. They have limits on their ability to work full-time and they spend more time out of the workforce caring for children and the elderly – work that is unpaid and chronically undervalued in economic terms.

The facts

  • Casual employment

    Women are over-represented in casual employment and the lowest paying industries and professions

  • Half the super

    Women retire with almost half the superannuation that men do

  • Experience Violence

    Women are three times more likely to experience violence at the hands of a partner

  • Single Parents

    Women represent 82% of single parents who are three times more likely to live in poverty

  • Low income

    Women make up 60% of low income earners for whom only 6.4% of properties in the private rental market are affordable

More women live in poverty than men – it’s that simple.

This gendered poverty is closely linked to housing crisis and homelessness. For vulnerable women, the tipping point into homelessness can be as simple as losing a job, the break-up of a relationship or the death of a partner. Not to mention a pandemic!

The statistics are harrowing:

  • 2 out of 3 people approaching homeless services are women. Half of those are escaping family violence

  • Between 2011 and 2016 there was a 10% increase in the number of women experiencing homelessness

  • Between the 2011 and 2016 Census’ there has been a 31 percent rise in homelessness among older women

  • More than half of single women in Australia over 50, earn the minimum wage or less – which does not cover the costs of even the most basic housing