THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
SUSAN LAMB MP
MEMBER FOR LONGMAN
GENDER INEQUALITY DISADVANTAGES WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITY
At a meeting today in Burpengary with the Deputy Labor Leader, Tanya Plibersek, and the Member for Longman, Susan Lamb, local women said they are being disadvantaged by gender inequality, suffering discrimination, domestic violence, as well as getting lower pay and superannuation than men.
Ms Plibersek said it is unacceptable that Australian women were paid around 16 per cent less than men for doing the same work.
“That 16 per cent gap has barely moved in 20 years – it’s just not good enough,” Ms Plibersek said.
“It means a woman working full time will be paid, on average, $600,000 less than the average man, over the course of her life.
“The majority of low income earners are women, and women are more likely to work in casual or insecure jobs.
“Women are still more likely to experience poverty in retirement – retiring on average with around half the superannuation balance men do.
“Older women are the fastest growing group of people falling into homelessness.
“Instead of working to improve things, Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals have sent us backwards.
“Australia has slipped from 19th to 46th place in the global gender equality rankings since 2013.
“That’s because Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals have done things such as:
- Impose 100 per cent effective marginal tax rates on some women (that means it actually costs some women money to work more).
- Repeatedly attempt to slash paid parental leave; and
- Applaud penalty rates cuts which disproportionately impact women.”
Ms Lamb said that if Labor is elected, it would take action to help eradicate the gender pay gap.
“We would start by reversing the cuts to penalty rates,” Ms Lamb said.
“Women are disproportionately affected by cuts to penalty rates, making up 57 per cent of hospitality and food workers, 62 per cent of retail workers, and 85 per cent of pharmaceutical and cosmetic goods retail workers.
“Here in Longman, there are 4517 women working in retail, making it the second highest industry that women depend on to make a living and support their families.”
Local businessperson and owner of Live Music Promotions, Sammie Lee Milgate, has struggled being a woman in a male dominated industry.
“The music industry is male dominated,” Ms Milgate said.
“I’ve had men purposely try and cut me out of the industry because of my gender.
“I’ve often had men in the [music] industry try and devalue my skills, saying things like ‘the industry doesn’t need another social media receptionist.’”
Ms Milgate believes that the current Federal Government’s policies are reinforcing institutional discrimination, including the gender pay gap.
“As an employer, I wouldn’t feel right paying a woman less than a man - the same principle applies to our policy makers who can choose to either restrict or widen the gender pay gap,” Ms Milgate said.
Only Labor is committed to taking real action to achieve gender equality.
Labor introduced Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme, developed the first National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, and invested $3 billion to increase wages in the female dominated social and community sector.
Labor is talking to women around the country about what they think needs to change. To be part of the conversation, you can share your views at www.settingtheagenda.com.au.
THURSDAY, 13 JULY 2017