Too often, when politicians promise to create jobs and boost the economy, they advertise on industrial or construction sites in front of beefy traders in hi-vis vests.
These are invariably male-dominated places, and while the ad can be valuable, the setting sends the wrong subliminal message that men have the real jobs and matter more to the economy than women.
One of the most positive things about the broad and detailed âWomen’s Budget Statementâ in Tuesday’s federal budget is that it explicitly challenged this misconception that men are workers.
Considering how economic policies affect women is not just a matter of equality or compassion, important as that is. It also makes economic sense. âImproving outcomes will not only improve the lives and livelihoods of Australian women; it will grow our economy, âthe statement read.
Cynics will say the government only acted after opinion polls showed the Coalition to perform poorly among women because of its blokey culture and its muted response to allegations of harassment and abuse of women in the political sphere.
the Herald Last month, Resolve Political Monitor found that the number of women who see Scott Morrison as their favorite PM is five percentage points lower than that of men.
But there is enough real substance in the budget, in areas ranging from superannuation to childcare and senior care, to justify Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s claim that he is dealing with the status of children. women as a crucial part of the economy.
Importantly, the government has accepted that correcting structural factors that prevent women from realizing their potential will help the economy by boosting workforce participation and reducing skills shortages.
For example, the statement estimated the economic benefit of a measure in the budget to increase the subsidy for childcare for families with more than one child that will allow about 40,000 women to work on a day’s work. more per week. The budget estimates that the $ 670 million per year cost of the measure would increase gross domestic product by up to $ 1.5 billion per year.
The $ 17 billion budget hike for the elderly care sector is primarily aimed at alleviating the appalling conditions in residential elderly care for older Australians, who are mostly women. But it will also ease the burden on girls who act as unpaid caregivers in most cases, potentially allowing them to work more. Funding should also raise low wages in a sector where the workforce is predominantly female.