International Women's Day 2012
Posted on Thursday, 8 March 2012
International Women’s Day provides the opportunity to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women and to recommit ourselves to policies that provide hope, reward and opportunity for Australian women.
The advancement of women has long been linked to economic opportunity.
After narrowing through much of the Howard years, the gender wage gap in Australia has increased again under Labor and is currently the widest it has been in a quarter of a century.
This is one of the reasons why the Coalition is fully committed to introducing a comprehensive and equitable paid parental leave scheme.
As a nation, we do not pay sick leave, carers leave, holiday leave or long service leave at the minimum wage and nor should we do so with parental leave. The Coalition’s Paid Parental Leave scheme will provide a replacement wage for 26 weeks up to a maximum of $75,000.
According to the Productivity Commission’s Report onPaid Parental Leave, there were at least 37 nations around the world who had introduced a paid parental leave scheme prior to the launch of Labor’s minimum wage scheme and of those schemes 35 were based on full or part replacement wage. Australia is the only country with a paid parental leave scheme that is entirely based on a minimum wage.
Paid parental leave should not be an afterthought, it is an essential ingredient in lifting female participation rates, and creating greater opportunity for Australian women to fully participate in work and family life if they choose.
This International Women’s Day, the Coalition recommits Australia to making women at risk a high priority in our nation’s refugee and humanitarian resettlement programme.
Our announcement today to provide a minimum 1,000 places in Australia’s refugee and humanitarian intake for women at risk and their dependents is recognition that our humanitarian programme should be refocused to offer that opportunity to those we can help most and those who are most in need.
Our policies contrast with the Government’s record that has seen a fall in the growth rate of real wages of women, less accessible and less affordable child care and virtually no new jobs created in 2011.
We are proud of the Coalition’s record in creating economic opportunity for Australian women and our plans for the future will continue this work.
8 March 2012