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Gender equality is on the agenda

Gender equality is on the agenda
Josh Burns

I’m incredibly proud to be part of a Labor government with a strong commitment to gender equality.

We are focused on driving action in five areas; ending gender-based violence, unpaid and paid care, economic equality and security, health, and leadership, representation and decision-making.

On a weekly basis, I have the pleasure of speaking with women in our community who are making a difference in their workplaces and for our community. 

These conversations are both inspiring and eye-opening, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs that women face in their daily lives. While it’s heartening to see the progress we’ve made towards gender equality, it’s also a stark reminder that there’s still more work to be done.

The economic lives of men and women are often very different.

Women, on average, continue to earn less than their male counterparts for the same work. This wage disparity not only undermines the financial stability of women but also damages the overall economic health of our nation.

When women are paid less, they have less to invest in their families, less to save for the future, and less to contribute to the broader economy.

The economic challenges faced by women are not limited to the workplace.

Women are more likely to bear the burden of unpaid care work, often juggling their professional responsibilities with caregiving duties at home. This imbalance not only worsens gender inequality but also limits women’s opportunities for career advancement and economic security.

Taking time out of paid work to care for children is a normal part of working life for both parents for many in our community. But the data is clear, women are taking more time out of the workforce to raise their children, and are retiring, on average, with 25 per cent less super than men.

The Albanese government has already expanded paid parental leave to six months for both parents, and now we are going to pay superannuation on paid parental leave.

Women should not be struggling to balance their caregiving responsibilities with their financial security, and they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their own career aspirations.

These important reforms will make sure that women retire with the dignity and stability they deserve.

Not only are we are doing what matters to help close the super gap, but we have brought in crucial policy to end the gender pay gap, which is now the lowest it has ever been.

The Minister for Women Katy Gallagher recently announced that businesses with 500 employees or more will be required to meet new gender equality targets if they want to secure government contracts. These targets will focus on the gender makeup of boards, equal pay, flexible working arrangements and efforts to address sexual and gender-based violence.

There is more to do, but for the first time in 10 years; gender equality is on the agenda, and progress is being achieved. •

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