Women could be 'left behind' after COVID.
A peak Australian body for domestic violence prevention is sounding the alarm that women risk being left behind in the COVID-19 recovery, as the nation's gender pay gap widens.
To coincide with Equal Pay Day this Tuesday, Our Watch has expressed concern about the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on women.
Equal Pay Day falls on August 31 this year, based on current estimates it will take 61 days after the end of the financial year for Australian women to keep pace with men's annual pay.
Using biannual Australian Bureau of Statistics earnings data, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) recently found the gender pay gap increased by 0.8 per cent from November to May to 14.2 per cent.
Closing the gender pay gap may be a lower priority for businesses in the pandemic, but the new director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency says the conditions could drive change | @annikasmethurst #genderpaygap #genderequality #COVIDrecovery https://t.co/6f9iKQmUf4— The Age (@theage) August 30, 2021
That figure means Australian women are, on average, $261.50 worse off than men per week.
The gender pay gap does not refer to men and women are being paid unequally for doing the same job, which is unlawful in Australia. Instead, it measures the difference between their average earnings.
Our Watch chief executive Patty Kinnersly said it was vital decision-makers grasped the link between gender inequality and violence against women, citing the nation's growing gender pay gap as a clear example.
"Tragically, we have seen since the onset of COVID-19 a rise in the incidence and severity of domestic and family violence," she said.