MIND THE GAP: Research shows men are still being paid more than women.
MIND THE GAP: Research shows men are still being paid more than women.

Letters: Pay gap a priority

WE NEED to urgently address Bundaberg's gender pay gap of 49%, as reported in Friday's NewsMail.

This figure is startling and well above the national gender pay gap for full-time work of 18.8%.

To close the gender pay gap, we need pay equity for the same job, transparency of wages and flexible working arrangements.

We also need to support women who wish to enter industries dominated by men and value those industries traditionally dominated by women more highly.

We also need properly funded childcare and paid parental leave but the Abbott government's budget pits funding for one against the other.

The government needs to back down on its plan to cut paid parental leave for half of Australian mothers.

We also need governments to help lead cultural change so that men and women share unpaid caring and domestic work more evenly.

The bulk of unpaid caring and domestic work is still overwhelmingly carried out by women in Australia today.

Unfortunately, comments by the Prime Minister about "housewives of Australia" doing the ironing and that the "physiology or temperament of men" could make them better leaders take us backwards.

At Senate Estimates next week in Canberra, I will question the Workplace Gender Equality Agency about how we can close the startling gender pay gaps in regional Queensland.

Progress on gender equality is far too slow and it must become a national priority.

LARISSA WATERS

Senator for Queensland

Greens Deputy Leader



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