House debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Statements by Members

Women's Economic Security

1:55 pm

Photo of Peta MurphyPeta Murphy (Dunkley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The past 12 months have been extremely difficult for everyone, but they have been so much more difficult for women. Gender Equity Victoria's submission to the Victorian government's budget, Towards a gender equal recovery, which was released today, sets that out in stark relief. More women were infected by the virus than men, and more women died than men. During the pandemic, women were significantly more likely to feel that everything was an effort, to feel nervous and to feel lonely. There was a 37 per cent drop in breast screening, as an example of the health impacts. In Victoria, 109,000 women lost their jobs. The current Victorian unemployment rate is 8.1 per cent for women compared to 5.9 per cent for men, and we know that when women become unemployed over the age of 45 that unemployment is almost intractable. The majority of casual workers unable to access JobKeeper were women. Women were depleting their superannuation at a higher rate than men when withdrawing emergency COVID funds: 4½ per cent of women and 2½ per cent of men. This is in a situation where women's retirement incomes are drastically insufficient anyway. Up to 320,000 women have given up finding work, taking them out of the job statistics. Mr Morrison, Prime Minister: 50 per cent of the community needs you to stand up and do something for them now.