This week, a report by the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce to the Australian Government detailed their 10 year plan to address women’s inequality, specifically economic inequality, in Australia.
The report ‘Unleashing the full capacity and contribution of women to the Australian economy’ offers seven primary recommendations to the Government, including immediate and long-term actions, focusing on the key themes of care, work, education and skills, the tax and transfer system and Government processes.
According to the report, Australia is not reaching its full social and economic potential as a result of pervasive and systemic gender inequality.
The introduction states that:
Entrenched and rigid gender norms and enduring bias maintain a social context where gender inequality is assumed, accepted and encoded in everyday life.
Current data shows that inequality is prevalent and persistent, and it impacts a woman’s public and private experiences across her entire lifetime. Many women face even greater barriers and disadvantages because of their intersecting identities and experiences.
Women’s economic inequality has become normalised and is often assumed to be ‘natural’ or the result of women’s personal choices. There is clear evidence to show this thinking is out of step with the ambitions and interests of our highly educated female population and with forging a fair society. It also clashes with the development of a modern and vibrant global economy.
Addressing women’s economic inequality is key to addressing the economic challenges our country faces in the coming decade, including global economic uncertainty, inequality, transitioning to clean energy, climate change challenges, an ageing population and rapid technological advances.
These challenges also provide opportunities to shift Australia’s economic policy settings and unlock the value of women’s full economic participation.