Offers to boost women’s participation in the labor market are insufficient

The report also calls for improvements to the Commonwealth’s paid parental leave scheme.

“Countries with more generous paid parental leave – which is shared equally between parents – tend to have higher rates of female labor force participation,” he says.

Low wages are another barrier to work for women.

Analysis by Impact Economics and Policy shows that workers in female-dominated industries with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn 30% less per hour than workers in male-dominated industries with the same qualifications. Workers in female-dominated sectors with a Certificate III/IV earn 36% less per hour than a similarly qualified worker in a male-dominated sector.

Low wages in a range of female-dominated industries, particularly the care sector, are a chronic structural factor that discourages women from taking up more paid jobs.


During the election campaign, both major parties touted policies in support of working women.

In the March budget, the federal government introduced greater flexibility to the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave scheme, which allows working parents to share up to 20 weeks of publicly funded leave after the birth of a child. a kid.

Labor’s $5.4 billion pledge to make childcare cheaper for 96% of families was a central part of its pre-election pitch. The ALP describes this as “fundamental economic reform”, which represents a significant shift in the way care policies are framed in Australian policy debate.

But overall, the support policies for women workers proposed by the two main parties are unlikely to deliver the increase in the labor force needed to address growing labor and skills shortages. Australia.

A much more ambitious and coordinated approach will be needed to achieve this.

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Michael A. Bynum