Women’s Health Data: Household and family

Household and family arrangements influence many aspects of a person’s life. Imbalance of paid work and family/carer responsibilities has a direct impact on women’s life outcomes, including their social and economic status, participation in public life, health and emotional wellbeing. Increased paid work opportunities for women in the past twenty years have not produced a corresponding change in the division of unpaid responsibilities between men and women. Women with family/carer responsibilities carry a disproportionate share of unpaid work, including child care, elder care and associated housework.

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Key statistics

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

*• Indigenous women are more likely than Indigenous men to provide unpaid assistance to a person with a disability (16% compared with 10%)8.

Women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds

Women with disabilities

Same-sex attracted women


  1. COAG Reform Council.Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia Report to the Council of Australian Governments 21 October 2013. [cited 20 November 2013] Available from: http://www.coagreformcouncil.gov.au/reports/gender-equity/tracking-equity-comparing-outcomes-women-and-girls-across-australia.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Gender Indicators, 2013. Cat. no. 4125.0. Canberra: ABS; 2013 [cited 14 September 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4125.0~Aug%202013~Main%20Features~Contents~1.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Child Care. Australian Social Trends, Jun 2010. Cat. no. 4102.0. Canberra: ABS; 2010 [cited 20 November 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features50Jun+2010.
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics. A profile of carers in Australia. Cat. No. 4448.0. Canberra: ABS; 2008 [cited 21 August 2013]. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4448.02008?OpenDocument.
  5. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Striking the Balance: Women, men, work and family Discussion Paper 2005. Sydney: Sex Discrimination Unit Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; 2005. [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/striking-balance-women-men-work-and-family.
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics. How Australians use their time, 2006. Cat no. 4153.0. Canberra: ABS; 2008. [cited 9 November 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4153.0Main%20Features22006?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4153.0&issue=2006&num=&view= .
  7. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. Walking with the women - Addressing the needs of Indigenous women exiting prison. Sydney: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; 2005[cited 9 December 2013] Available from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/social-justice-report-2004.
  8. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Cat. no. 4713.0. Canberra: ABS; 2006. [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/62CB550A4BB19F9FCA2578DB00283CCA?opendocument.
  9. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012. Cat. no. 4430.0. Canberra: ABS; 2013 [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/0F299F0FB0C27050CA257C210011ADC6?opendocument.
  10. Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia. Women’s Policy Statement2012: Supporting Australian Women from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds.Deakin:2012 [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.fecca.org.au/images/stories/pdfs/fecca%20womens%20policy%202012.pdf.
  11. Kershaw, S. (2000), "Living in a lesbian household: The effects on children", Child and Family Social Work, vol. 5, pp. 365-371.
  12. Sarah Wise. Family structure, child outcomes and environmental mediators: an overview of the Development in Diverse Families Study. Research Paper No. 30. Australian Institute of Family Studies, January 2003. [cited 9 December 2013] Available from: http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/RP30.html#critical.

Published: February 2014

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