Central Council

WEN - Gender Responsive Policy Making and Budgeting

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Dr Leonora Risse

Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa

The value of placing a “gender lens” on economic policy and budget design is gaining stronger attention in the Australian policy environment.

In recognition of the growing interest in Gender Responsive Budgeting at the Federal Government level and among various State Governments in Australia, the Women in Economics Network has organised a two-part online event on the purpose and practice of Gender Responsive Budgeting.  

All members and supporters of the Economic Society of Australia (ESA) and Women in Economics Network (WEN) are warmly invited to this second online webinar, organised by the New South Wales Branch of WEN.

This second webinar will focus on the need for gender mainstreaming and explore how Australia compares with other countries on gender equality, how to design gender responsive legislation, policies and budgets in the Australian context and the institutional reforms required to see greater progress in gender equality.   

Join our panelists to hear about their perspectives on gender responsive legislating, policymaking and budgeting and the importance of mainstreaming gender impact assessments.

Meet our Panellists 

Dr Leonora Risse, RMIT University and WEN

Dr Risse is an economist who specialises in gender equality. Her research focuses on understanding gender differentials in the workforce and identifying evidence-based ways to close these gender gaps. Her research experience extends to issues of wellbeing and disadvantage, labour economics, demographic economics, and economic psychology. She is a Research Fellow with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, and recently spent time in residence at Harvard University as a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program. She is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at RMI, is a co-founder of the Women in Economics Network (WEN) in Australia and currently serves as the WEN National Chair.



Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa, UTS

Dr Vijeyarasa is the architect behind the Gender Legislative Index, the first comprehensive IT-based tool to make legislation work more effectively to improve women's lives. Her work innovatively combines law, engineering, and data science to reinvigorate decades-long debates about the law's role in addressing gender inequality. A Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney, Dr Vijeyarasa’s research is informed by a decade working in civil society. She was the 2020-2022 Women's Leadership Institute Australia Research Fellow, a Runner-up in the 2021 Letten Prize, and has research grants and awards from New York University, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She recently welcomed the release of her latest book, The Woman President.


Mr Nick Wood, NSW Treasury

Mr Wood is the Director of Long-Term Modelling at NSW Treasury and supports policy development and economic and budget management through data-based research and analysis. Together with his team, he recently released a paper on Women’s economic opportunities in the NSW labour market and the impact of early childhood education and care. This paper brings together research on the drivers of unequal economic outcomes between women and men, and uses this to develop a modelling framework which is then used to assess the impact of the NSW and Commonwealth Government's transformational reforms to early childhood education and care. This paper is one of the key outputs of the NSW Women’s Economic Opportunities Review, with the broader range of materials and outcomes also released alongside the NSW Budget this year. 



Moderator: Chirine Dada, Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)

Chirine is an economist and public policy strategist, with over 14 years’ experience in senior advisory positions across economic regulation and economic policy, including at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW and in the NSW Government. She has led the end-to-end delivery of complex and sensitive economic reforms across a range of policy portfolios in the NSW Government, including the introduction of a contestable market in the vocational education sector; economic assessments of innovative debt and equity products for businesses seeking capital raising in future job creation industries, and setting efficient water prices for customers in regional New South Wales during a period of drought. Chirine is a natural advocate, a mentor to junior professionals, and a former fellow of Senate at the University of Sydney.


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