The Greens have welcomed the updated Economic Security for Women’s White Paper, and called on the government raise the minimum wage to address women’s financial inequality.
Greens Senate Leader and spokesperson on Women, Senator Larissa Waters, said:
“It’s 2020: women want fair pay, not granite bench tops.
“Raising the minimum wage will help those working some of the lowest paid professions, such as health care, childcare, and aged care.
“Not only have these professions been at the forefront of our COVID-19 response, but have a high proportion of female workers.
“Today’s report confirms that the women of Australia don’t want a ‘snap back’ to the status quo – they want a comprehensive plan to fix the structural inequalities that have been compounded by COVID-19.
“But to a government that just cancelled free childcare, and failed to acknowledge let alone rectify the disproportionate impact of COVID on women, I say: the 1950s called and they want their attitudes back.”
Senator Waters also called on the government to reinstate the Women’s Federal Budget Impact Statement.
“During the pandemic women have lost more jobs (6% vs 5.4% per ATO), lost more hours (7.3% vs 6.5% per ATO), are over-represented in the hardest-hit industries, and are more likely to be ineligible for JobKeeper (53% of short-term casuals are women),” she said.
“Tony Abbott removed the gender lens on the federal budget by axing the Women’s Budget Impact Statement in 2014. Without that gender analysis, the government will continue to overlook the structural inequalities facing women.”
To deliver economic security for women, the report says women’s workplace participation, the gender pay gap, and unpaid care work must be addressed, including by making childcare more affordable, paying super on paid parental leave, and financially supporting carers.