NSW Labor are today proud to mark and celebrate International Women’s Day, a global moment to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination and to take action to drive gender parity.
The journey towards gender equality is an ongoing one, with the Global Gender Gap Index indicating that it would take 136.6 years to close the gap globally.
NSW Labor are proud to lead the way on parliamentary representation, with women accounting for 46% of candidates, 48% of shadow cabinet and half of the leadership group.
“We all owe a debt of gratitude to the women who came before us, the women who spoke up and continue to speak up and shine a light on inequality, discrimination and gender based crimes," Jodie Harrison, NSW Shadow Minister for Women, said.
“Today is a day for reflection, celebration and to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to achieve gender equality. Today’s announcement to help women return to the workforce and to better support women in the workplace is so important.
“On this International Women’s Day I am grateful to be surrounded by such strong, intelligent women working to make our state better.”
NSW Labor are committed to taking meaningful action, today announcing $13.8 million in funding to get women into work and provide ongoing industrial relations support once they’re there.
According to the NSW Government’s workforce participation report:
- Women’s workforce participation has steadily increased since 2010 but remains below men’s participation in the workforce.
- As of January 2023 the average participation rate for men is 70.9 per cent and for women 61.4 per cent.
- As of November 2022 the gender pay gap was at 11 per cent.
- In monetary terms on average men earn $1,688 weekly, compared to women’s weekly average of $1,437 – a difference of $257
Future Women’s Jobs Academy
NSW Labor will support 1,000 women over two years to become job-ready, boosting women’s workforce participation and economic security while addressing chronic labour and skills shortages in New South Wales.
The $5.8 million investment will give women the confidence and capabilities they need through all stages of their return-to-work journey, from initial exploration to ongoing support once they find a new job.
The program will give women access to:
- Online resources hub
- Professional development and skills training
- Coaching and mentoring
- Community, content and events
- Employer connections
- A lifetime of support – ongoing Future Women membership
Future Women’s Jobs Academy program has been designed by women, to work alongside women and has been successfully piloted with the Commonwealth Office for Women.
Working Women’s Centre
NSW Labor will also work closely with the federal government and relevant stakeholder to establish a new Working Women’s Centre in NSW.
These Centres are a frontline service that help women navigate work-related issues including sexual harassment, underpayment, wage theft and parental leave. The former New South Wales centre was forced to close due to inadequate funding.
NSW Labor will work hand in hand with the Albanese Government, industry and stakeholders to see a centre re-established in New South Wales and will commit $2 million in ongoing funding so it can operate at full potential.
This announcement follows a suite of women centric policies which highlight Labor’s commitment to women’s safety and achieving gender parity, including:
- Scrap the wages cap which has been a handbrake on essential workers wages, in particular nurses and teachers who are overwhelmingly women.
- Establish a new specialist multicultural domestic and family violence centre in South Western Sydney which will increase accessibility to services and safety for migrant and refugee women by providing holistic, well informed and culturally appropriate responses to domestic violence.
- Double the funding of Women’s Health Centres. As 80% of their clientele have experienced domestic or family abuse these services are essential to supporting victim survivors in our community.
- $923,000 a year to the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline to ensure they can continue to provide critical 24/7 state-wide specialist counselling services.
- Introduce longer-term five-year funding arrangements for key community service providers, including Domestic Violence support services.
- Invest in an expansion of Lifeline’s services with an additional commitment of $8.2 million over 5 years to increase text and webchat services. This will offer better support to women in domestic abuse circumstances who are unable to reach out over the phone.