The gender pay gap remains stationary at 14 per cent, equating to an additional 59 days pay this financial year for the average male worker compared to the average female, according to data released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency today.
On average, women fall $241.50 short of men’s average earnings each week. Structural issues including undervaluing labour in femnised industries, unpaid labour and caring responsibilities and institutional sexism mean that the pay gap persists.
The Morrison Government opposed measures put forward by the ALP at the last election to improve the appallingly low pay for workers in childcare – a predominantly female workforce – describing it as the road to communism.
The Morrison Government has also campaigned against universal paid Family and Domestic Violence leave, the living wage and expanding support for people with caring responsibilities, all measures which would close the gender pay gap.
The gap extends into retirement, with women currently retiring with 40 per cent less super than men, due in part to super not being paid on income earnt during parental leave – another solution which the Morrison Government has opposed. The rates of poverty and homelessness for older women are increasing.
As noted by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“The Morrison Government is doing nothing to close the gender pay gap because it is made up of people who either don’t believe it exists or don’t believe it is a problem.
“This government has campaigned against measures which would have improved women’s’ pay and position in the workplace at every turn.
“The insecure work and low wage growth crises which have become the hallmark of this government affect women more than men and contribute directly to the stubborn persistence of the gap.
“It is impossible for a government which is conflicted over whether a problem exists to fix that problem. Women in Australia deserve so much better.”