We have been fighting for women’s rights and gender equity for over 100 years, and we’ve come a long way since the days when women weren’t allowed to vote or run for parliament or sit on juries. But the fight isn’t over. The issues that will dominate this election, and more importantly the years of governing afterwards, are crucial for women.
The current low unemployment rate is mostly due to the locked borders that keep international students and migrant workers out of the jobs market. When those borders open again, the market will change. At the beginning of the pandemic women lost more paid work, did more unpaid work, and were given less government support than men.
Women’s work is still undervalued and underpaid, which puts us back on the front line of the next shockwave. We need parliament to recognise this and act on job security, wages, and conditions to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation by large corporations who underpay the majority of their workers so they can overpay the minority.
We need to make sure businesses are unafraid of hiring women and very afraid of exploiting them.
Economically vulnerable women become vulnerable to many other forms of oppression. Valuing and paying women’s work properly makes everyone safer.