Every day I am reminded that Australian women have so much to contribute, and that our workplaces and communities do not always recognise and support this. There is much to do to fight family violence and address structural unfairness in the workforce. My goal is that Australian women and girls, those already in the workforce, the carers, and the elderly, live with equality, dignity and safety.
Today more than 100,000 women and men attended rallies in 36 different locations across the country. My mum was one of them. She attended a march in Lismore. My mum has been waiting for a long time. She sang along to Helen Reddy's anthem 'I am woman' in the 1970s. I won't say that I didn't tear up a little when I arrived at the march on the lawns here and heard that song being played.
I'd like to start with a tale of two family law reforms. The first reform was promised by the government in their first Women's Economic Security Statement. I remind you that that was back in 2018. It's a relatively simple proposal, and it would make dividing super assets easier and fairer. It's supported by lawyers, by academics and by women's groups. The government promised, back in 2018, that they would have this reform up and running by July 2020—last year. Where do you think that reform's up to? Nowhere.
It is hard to imagine what would actually provoke this government to meaningfully respond to women's economic interests, in particular, the significance and importance of Australian women having access to the labour market and consequently developing their own economic and financial independence, because the true meaning of 'independence' is the ability to find your way out of circumstances not of your choosing, to make real choices in the knowledge you have the economic resources to support you.
For millions of Australians, home has been a sanctuary from the fear and threats of the outside world. But that hasn’t been the experience for all. For too many women the fear and the threats have come from inside the home.
MEDIA RELEASE: APPOINTMENT AS SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
It’s an honour to be appointed as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Family Violence.
This piece was first published in Challenge Magazine, on Sunday, 10 May 2020.
Evidence provided today at the Senate Economic Legislation Committee’s public hearing clearly shows that the government’s proposed Superannuation Amnesty Bill will do nothing to address the systemic issue of non-payment or underpayment of super or support workers who have had their superannuation stolen by unscrupulous employers.
Well, everyone understands that there is a serious problem when it comes to women and retirement incomes. And yesterday, Women in Super wrote to the Treasurer asking him to make one very specific change to the Review into Retirement Incomes. They are asking that a Terms of Reference be added to specifically require the Inquiry to consider the needs of women.
Women in Australia currently retire with almost 50% less superannuation than men and 23% of women retire with no superannuation savings at all. Women in retirement are more likely to face poverty, housing stress and homelessness. Despite this, the Government has failed to specifically include women in the Terms of Reference of their Retirement Income Review.
Gender pay gap has moved around over time but it remains the case that women are earning, when you take into account total remuneration, $23,000 a year less than men on average. It is actually time for some action and I am enormously proud of the announcement that will be made today. The Labor Party is setting out a series of reforms to the Fair Work Commission that will make it easier for the Commission to make orders in relation to low paid feminised industries.