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So, how exactly does the Federal Budget help women?

Today is the second Tuesday of May, also known as Budget Day

Tonight, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Australians how the Morrison Government plans to spend taxpayers money for the next four years. 

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Ahead of the budget, the government shared what they plan to do, with much of what they've revealed centreing on women.So now that their full proposal has been released, let's take a look at what the 2021 Federal Budget actually means for women. 

Domestic Violence.

Ahead of the budget, the Morrison Government announced it was committed to doubling its spending on women’s safety, spending at least $227 million annually ($680 million over three years) on domestic violence prevention.

Hayley Foster, chief executive of Women’s Safety NSW, said: "This is a good start and if invested in the right interventions, will significantly improve the safety of many Australian women and children experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence.

“However, we still need to see a four-fold increase in this figure if we want to ensure all Australians can access the services they need to achieve safety in the face of domestic and sexual violence and all communities equipped with the tools and resources to prevent such violence occurring in the first place.”

Tonight, Frydenberg announced the government will invest a further $1.1 billion in women's safety, which will go into "delivering more emergency accommodation, more legal assistance, more counselling more, financial support - including cash payments for those escaping abusive relationships, more targeted services for Indigenous, migrant and refugee women, and women with a disability". 

"We will improve the family law system to better protect children, give victims of domestic violence greater access to justice, and reduce the time spent in court," explained the treasurer. 

Frydenberg also said the government is responding to the [email protected] Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report by "strengthening laws, guidance and standards to prevent and to address harassment". However, the treasurer didn't go into further detail about this in his address.

The increased spending follows allegations concerning the treatment of women in Federal Parliament.

Watch: The hidden numbers of violence and women in Australia. Post continues below


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Early childhood education.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the budget's $1.7 billion injection into the childcare system will provide additional support to around 250,000 families, who will be better off by an average of $2,200 a year because of it. 

Their new package is aimed at low and middle-income families earning $130,000 or less.

For families with two or more children aged five and under, the childcare subsidy will increase to a maximum of 95 per cent, up from 85 per cent.

These changes, however, will not come into effect until July 2022.

Josh Frydenberg's new $1.7 billion injection into childcare will not come into effect until July 2022. Image: Getty. This comes after ABS data revealed last week that Australian parents are paying more than ever for early childhood education. 

Amanda Rishworth, the opposition's spokesperson for Early Childhood Education, said the scheme was too exclusionary, with most families not able to benefit from these changes. 

"Families right across the country are struggling with the cost of childcare," she said, according to ABC.

"So now is not the time to pick a few families to get the benefit, now is the time to reform the system so the majority of families get the benefit."

Women's health.

The Federal Budget included a $354 million health package for women spread over four years.

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The package includes funding for cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis and reproductive health.

Here are some of the key investments:

  • $100.4 million for improvements to cervical and breast cancer screening programs.
  • $47.4 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant mothers.
  • $26.9 million to provide support for people with eating disorders and their families, noting that women account for almost two thirds of eating disorder diagnoses.
  • $6.6 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extending its consumer representative training program.

"The Government was also providing in this budget new funding for endometriosis, research into pre-term birth and genetic testing for pregnant women."

No explicit dollar value was assigned to this agenda, but the fact it's even being discussed is a huge win for women.

Education.

The government will provide funding to help women break into non-traditional trades, with training support for 5,000 places.

$63.5 million will also go into providing 2,700 places in indigenous girls academies to help with finishing school and entering the workforce.

The government is also investing $42.4 million to enable women to pursue STEM qualifications.

Retirement.

"We want all Australians to get the most out of the superannuation system. On average, women retire with less superannuation than men," said Frydenberg.

To combat this, the government said they will remove the current $450-per-month minimum income threshold for the Superannuation Guarantee. 

This change will help 200,000 women by providing more economic security in retirement. 

This article was originally published on May 10, 2021, and was updated on May 11, 2021.

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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