The SDA is the largest women's organisation in Australia.
Women comprise the fastest-growing section of our Union as well as in the general Australian workforce. Unions therefore have a major responsibility to concern themselves with women in the paid workforce.
The SDA acknowledges that all women work. Some are in the paid workforce, others are in the unpaid workforce. The work contribution of all women is of value to the nation and must be recognised.
The SDA believes that the problems encountered by women in the paid workforce fall broadly into three main categories:
- Women with families who are working out of sheer economic necessity: These women maintain that they do not have a true freedom of choice about being in the paid workforce.
- Women who are working in the retail industry in pursuit of a career: These women find that they are hampered in their careers because of lack of opportunities in training and promotion, superannuation and fringe benefits.
- Women who are working for personal independence and enjoyment.
The SDA is actively seeking improvements in the industrial, social and economic conditions of women.
We believe that it is our duty as trade unionists to ensure equality for all our members. The SDA was the first trade union to:
- Establish a Women's Bureau
- Appoint a full-time Women's Co-ordinator
- Develop and implement an extensive equal employment opportunity program
- Act on female members' concerns about personal safety
- Formulate a comprehensive Women's Policy.