The Women’s Economic Security Statement released by the Minister for Women yesterday is an excellent first step on the long road to bringing women into the public policy arena. The Statement contains positive steps towards improving economic outcomes for women and, hopefully, begins a process of ensuring that Federal policy makers are focusing on the needs of women.
“It’s strange that our Governments make policy and budget commitments without understanding the effects of their policies on half the population. That’s neither efficient nor prudent. It’s time the Federal Government bought women into their thinking at all stages of policy development but particularly in the budget,” said Helen Dalley-Fisher, Program Manager of the Equality Rights Alliance. “Hopefully, an annual statement on women’s economic security will improve the visibility of women in public policy.”
The reinstatement of the Time Use survey and increased funding for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency are particularly welcomed, as strong data about the lives of women is essential for good policy for gender equality. We know from the 2016 Census that the typical Australian woman spends between five and 14 hours a week doing unpaid work, while the typical Australian man spends less than five hours a week on this work, but we don’t know any more than that because there has been no robust time use survey in Australia since 2006.
“The amount of unpaid work women do is a key factor in women’s economic wellbeing,” said Ms Dalley-Fisher ‘and yet the last time the survey was carried out was before the first iPhone, when MySpace ruled supreme. Things have changed a lot in that time, and we need to know how those changes have affected women’s capacity for work.”
We congratulate the Minister and the Office for Women on the Women’s Economic Security Statement and look forward to a steady increase in gender aware policy development at Federal Level.
For media comment or speakers for interview, please contact Helen Dalley-Fisher, Equality Rights Alliance –0413 065 822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.