I was really hopeful that in the midst of a global pandemic, during a recession, that maybe, just maybe, our so called ‘leaders’ would be pragmatic in their approach to a recovering economy and not forget about half the population. The female half.
Am I asking too much?
To be honest, I was pumped for the budget last night. I am an accountant and a small business owner so maybe I have a slightly elevated level of enthusiasm.
Watch: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on women in the workforce. Post continues below.
It had been touted as the most significant federal budget in decades. There had been so much hype on delivering on women’s workplace participation, I thought this was the year they were going to deliver.
The hubby put the kids to bed, I had my block of chocolate in hand, I was ready.
Disappointment is an understatement. Disbelief and betrayal are what I felt.
Josh Frydenberg acknowledged that women have been the hardest hit in the recession and his response, Women’s Economic Security, got a total of $240 million dollars.
To do a quick comparison, the Coffs Harbour Bypass is worth $490 million dollars.
Women of Australia, in the Treasurer’s eyes, are worth half a road!
That $240 million is to cover everything, including safety at work and at home, new cadetships in STEM and job creation and entrepreneurship.
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There is a neat eighty-page document to go along with it, but there is nothing substantial to help women to work more, to reduce the gender pay or superannuation gap or help women with social housing.
All huge problems women are facing more so than ever because of the global pandemic.
There were obvious areas of economic and social reform that would significantly help Australia’s economic recovery that were completely missing on Tuesday night.
Early childhood education.
Only one of the hottest social and economic topics of 2020.
The free childcare and then the ‘snap back’ in June 2020 highlighted, again, that our childcare system is broken.
Early education is education and not child-minding and access should not be dependent on the work-status of parents.
The social and economic benefits of a more heavily subsidised childcare system have been proven. I am bewildered. How could this not even be a talking point?