Australian Women Lawyers is the peak body for women lawyers associations throughout Australia.
Click here to listen to AWL President Kate Ashmor's interview with ABC News Radio on 9 May 2013 re paid parental leave.
The Australian Women Lawyers (AWL) is primarily concerned with issues relating to the practice and advancement of women in the legal profession.
AWL also works to eliminate both direct and indirect discrimination against women in the legal system and the administration of justice, so that the legal system is more responsive to women's needs.
The objects of AWL are to:
- achieve justice and equality for all women
- further understanding and support for the legal rights of all women
- identify, highlight and eradicate discrimination against women inherent in the legal system and in the community generally
- advance equality for women in the legal profession
- create and enhance awareness of women's contribution to the practice and development of law
- provide a professional and social network for women lawyers.
A word from the Patron of Australian Women Lawyers
The Honourable Chief Justice Diana Bryant AO
Australian Women Lawyers is a national voluntary organisation that promotes and protects the interests of women and supports and engages with legal and social justice issues that effect women generally as well as women lawyers.
It is also a body which every two years brings together at a conference the state organisations which have the same or similar goals.
My mother, a lawyer, was President of what was then called ‘The Legal Women’s Association’ in the 1950s. The organisation which exists today is far different from that which existed then but its existence is still a matter of some importance.
Despite the many many changes that I have observed in the legal profession over the career of 43 years and seeing the considerable progress and achievements of women during that time there remain issues of gender which need to be addressed.
Some of those issues are very different from the ones that there were in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. For example there are many women now in the judiciary and more and more we are seeing women who are heads of jurisdiction and Presidents of Courts of Appeal.
But there are still many challenges for young lawyers and the means of balancing a career and a family still provide significant issues for women lawyers. In my view it is and has always been important for those women who have achieved, to use their achievement to practically support the development and promotion of younger women in the law. Each generation has an obligation to pass on experience and offer practical assistance to the next generation.
The Australian Women Lawyers is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2013. I congratulate it on the work that it has done to date and commend it for its energy and enthusiasm in promoting the interests of women in the law and women generally and I am very proud to be its second Patron.