THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
ONLY LABOR WILL CHAMPION THE MARCH TO GENDER EQUALITY
Labor will today announce our positive plans for achieving gender equality and putting the equal participation of women in or community and economy at the centre of our priorities.
Equality for the women of Australia will be a national priority for a Shorten Labor Government.
Central to our plan is Labor’s commitment to safe housing for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, which is a major cause of homelessness in Australia.
Family violence is a crisis which requires more than a change in attitudes. It is a national disgrace that demands a national approach.
Over one third of people who accessed specialist homelessness services over the three years to 2013-14 were seeking assistance due to domestic and family violence. The majority of those were women - 110,000 women compared to 12,000 men– and more than 45,000 of this group were women with children.
Many more women want to leave an abusive relationship, but cannot. Or do leave, only to return because they have nowhere else to go. This has to change.
Labor will invest $88 million over two years in a new Safe Housing program, to improve transitional housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence by filling the gap between crisis housing and longer term arrangements.
The Safe Housing program will increase the number of dwellings specifically available for women and children fleeing domestic violence and will provide funding for support programs that help women to stay safe in their own homes.
This commitment builds on Labor’s announcement in 2015 of an initial $15 million investment in Safe at Home grants to help people affected by family violence stay safe in their own home.
Through strong government leadership, Labor’s positive plan for gender equality will also focus on:
- Ending the scourge of family violence.
- Women’s health.
- Support managing work and care.
- Equal Opportunity in education.
- Gender Pay Equity.
- Making retirement incomes fairer.
- Advancing women’s wellbeing at home and abroad.
- Promoting women’s sport.
Ensuring equality for women in Australia through full, fair and equal access to opportunities in the workforce, leadership and education, is both a social issue and economic issue - a test of our national character and vital building block for national prosperity.
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the pay gap is still too high at 17.3 per cent.
Australian women are now earning on average $277.70 per week less than men and have an average of $90,000 less in superannuation.
The G20 has acknowledged that one of the world’s most significant barriers to global economic growth is the persistently low level of women’s participation in the workforce compared with men.
Labor knows that increasing women’s participation and economic security requires action from all parts of the community and there is no area of Australian life, no sector of Australian community, that does not and will not benefit from the full and equal inclusion of women.
The march of women through the institutions of power will define the decade ahead. It is our responsibility to speed this advance, to offer all our daughters and our nation a more prosperous, more equal future.
Labor will provide the genuine leadership and the real resources to deliver equality of opportunity for the women of Australia.
For more information on Labor’s positive plans for achieving gender equality, please visit: http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/australian_women_labors_positive_policies
For more information on Labor’s plan for Safe Housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence, please visit: http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/safe_housing_for_women_fact_sheet.
If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:
*** If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000” ***
SATURDAY, 11 JUNE 2016