ARLF Fellow and ARLP C17 Graduate Rebel Black’s company THE Rural Woman, co-hosted a roundtable with Economic Security for Women last week – focused specifically on understanding the unique challenges and opportunities rural women face.
Women from 3 states and a variety of backgrounds met, online, to discuss three broad questions, providing insights to be used in a Discussion Paper which will be distributed widely in mid March.
The roundtable forms part of a suite of work Rebel and her team are leading, to understand the financial climate for rural women, so a newly forming Cooperative can develop a micro-investing and micro-lending scheme specifically designed to meet the unique needs and aspirations of rural women.
All ARLF members are invited to participate in and share a comprehensive Survey to help further this understanding https://forms.gle/jANEKUTVxc48AXWC9
The roundtable revealed ideas for meaningful action that could support rural women’s financial security including expanded procurement policies from government to include rural women, incentives for banks to retain smaller footprints in community and use buildings in unique and creative ways, removing land tax on commercial regional land to incentivise investment.
The survey data gathered so far has revealed that financial insecurity and geography are linked and this was discussed in the round table and unearthed reasons for this including expensive and unreliable postage, lower pay rates, transport costs for business growth and a high volunteerism culture that detracts from paid work, which may also not always be available or consistent.
The round table highlighted the need for micro supports at all levels including access to finance, skills development and with a solid focus on micro-enterprise rather than big start ups.
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