Last Monday I joined tens of thousands of women and men to demand an end to violence against women and to challenge leaders to commit to building a gender equal society. It was amazing to see huge crowds gather in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Nowra, Orange, Newcastle, Shearwater and so many other cities and communities around the country.
Australians came out in droves to say enough is enough. The treatment of women in this country is not good enough.
Gender inequality is not good enough and reforming policies affecting parents and families is essential to closing the gender gap. Parenting is a fundamental, invaluable, undertaking and yet parenting policies remain fragmented and inadequate in this country. There is no unifying strategy when it comes to early childhood education and care, paid parental leave, perinatal health, gender reporting and taxation - and it is mostly women who bear the brunt of the inadequate support.
- Did you know that Australia’s paid parental leave scheme is one of the shortest and least generous in the world?
- Did you know that fees for early childhood education are among the highest in the world?
- Did you know that Australian women are the best educated women in the world, but that female workforce participation is one of the lowest among OECD and EU countries?
Australia needs a holistic approach to supporting parents from pre-conception, birth, infancy, and beyond. We need a coordinated framework of best practice parenting policies as outlined in our latest report:
1. Universal health and wellbeing support for parents and children through pregnancy and the early years;
2. A parental leave scheme that provides one year of paid leave to be equally shared between both parents;
3. Free and high-quality ECEC for all families; and
4. Flexible and supportive workplaces with universal access to paid carers’ leave for sick children.
If you support this please sign our petition calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do better for Australian parents. Supporting parents will not only benefit children but it will help create a more gender equal society.
Let’s seize this moment and make Australia the best place in the world to be a parent.